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    Reading Requires Reason

    | Yorkshire, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work at a very busy college, with around 10,000 spread over three sites. During office hours, all calls divert to the main free-phone number, which just happens to be covered by me.)

    Me: “Hello, [company name], how can I help?”

    Caller: “Yes, I want to make a complaint. I sent an email around two weeks ago and still haven’t heard anything back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Let me check the records and I’ll call you back in ten minutes.”

    (I then check all emails from two weeks ago, then three weeks ago. No luck. When I look for one week ago, I find the enquiry and the reply, sent within three hours. I call the client back.)

    Me: “Our records show that we responded within three hours of your enquiry. You may be looking to far down in your mailbox as the replay was sent one week ago, not two.”

    Caller: “Well, I haven’t checked my email.”

    Me: “Wait, if you haven’t checked your email, why have you called to complain?”

    Caller: “Well, I don’t read my emails very often!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we can only send the email, not make you read them.”

    Casting An Extra Super Duper Ginormously Wide Net, Part 2

    | Toronto, Canada | Crazy Requests, School

    Me: “Thank you for calling [college]. How can I direct your call?”

    Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for a student.”

    Me: “Certainly. Do you have the student’s name?”

    Caller: “I met them at an event at our church and wanted to talk to them about what they’re studying.”

    Me: “That seems quite reasonable. If you give me their name, I can either route your call to their dorm room, or leave them a message in their student mailbox.”

    Caller: “Well, I didn’t catch their name. Are there a lot of students there? Could I describe them to you?”

    Me: “We have about 1400 students, but I do know most of them in dorm, so we can give it a try.”

    Caller: “Okay. They’re Asian.”

    Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but roughly half of our student population is of Chinese descent. I’m afraid that doesn’t really narrow it down much.”

    Caller: “Oh. They’re male?”

    Me: “Sorry, that’s still a large percentage of our student body.”

    Caller: “They’re studying the Bible.”

    Me: “This is a Bible college, so I’m afraid that doesn’t narrow it down at all.”

    Caller: “Is there a way that you could just announce over a speaker or something, that someone is looking to speak with a student that was at [church name] this past Sunday?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I’m sorry. I can’t interrupt classes to do that.”

    Caller: “Oh, okay.” *click*

    Related:
    Casting An Extra Super Duper Ginormously Wide Net

    What A BS Degree

    , | The Netherlands | Bigotry, School

    (I’ve been helping a student from China get her books for her Master’s programme. Her English is fine, but she has a strong accent. After I’ve finished helping her, the next customer steps up.)

    Customer: “If that’s how she speaks English, she’s going to have serious trouble with Dutch. She’ll be useless in class!”

    Me: “Actually, her courses are all in English, so she won’t have to learn Dutch.”

    Customer: “What? That’s ridiculous! They’re making all these courses in English to let lazy foreigners get in easily. What about us, hmm? We have to put up with having to speak a foreign language in our own country just so she can come here and basically get handed a place at university by the stupid management. I bet she’ll get a job here, too. Everyone seems to think it’s more prestigious to hire some foreigner than someone who actually knows the language and the culture and everything!”

    Me: “… Anyway, let’s get your books. What is your major?”

    Customer: “International relations.”

    Lions And Tigers And Big Box Stores, Oh My

    | North Georgia Mountains, USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, School

    (I’m a tour guide for a private college in the North Georgia mountains in a town of 9,000 people. It’s not the biggest city, but it’s the biggest within about 50 miles. A married couple from Atlanta comes to visit the college.)

    Man: *nervously* “How do people typically adjust to living in the middle of nowhere?” 

    Me: “I actually think it’s peaceful here in the mountains, and I’ve never heard anyone say they miss the traffic.”

    (At this point, the couple sees a small green spider on the roof of the golf cart and literally jumps out of the stopped vehicle.)

    Me: “Aw, he won’t hurt y’all.”

    (The man hesitates three times before finally squishing the spider with his handkerchief. He cautiously climbs back in.)

    Woman: “Do you have any… mountain lions here?”

    Me: *in an exaggerated southern drawl* “Ain’t seen many mountain lions ’round these parts, far as I reckon.”

    Man: “What about bears?”

    Woman: “Panthers?”

    Me: “I’m pretty sure the most we have up here is foxes and coyotes.”

    (The woman gasps like she might have a heart attack while the man’s eyes get very wide. I do my best to assure them that these animals are harmless to humans and that they will likely never see on on campus, and continue with the tour.)

    Woman: “How far is civilization from here?”

    Me: “Well, the city is the county seat, and there’s lots to do and see downtown, and plenty of options for shopping and dining.” 

    Man: “Is there a Walmart anywhere near here?”

    Me: “About a 10 minute drive.”

    Couple: *in unison* “HALLELUJAH! CIVILIZATION!”

    D As In Duh, Part 2

    | Pennsylvania, USA | Language & Words

    Me: “You’ll also want to check out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  You can apply for that online if you have internet connection.”

    Caller: “I do. What’s the URL?”

    Me: “All right. It’s www dot ‘F’ as in ‘Frank,’ ‘A’…”

    Caller: “Sorry, how do you spell that?”

    Me: *confused* “…How do you spell what?”

    Caller: “Effasinfrank.”

    Related:
    D As In Duh


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