November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Should Have Made An Earlier Check

| WA, USA | Money

(It is April 15th and I work in a tax office. The office is actually fairly quiet, as most of our clients have already completed their taxes or filed extensions, so I have more time to answer calls. The phone rings, and I answer.)

Me: “Hello, how can I help?”

Caller: “I think I’m in trouble. I already filed my taxes a month ago, and wrote a check, but it hasn’t cleared yet.”

Me: “Are you a client of ours?”

Caller: “No. Do you think the IRS got my check?”

Me: “You said you sent it a month ago? Did you mail it certified?”

Caller: “No. Do you think they got it?”

Me: “I’m 99.9% sure the IRS did not get your check.”

Caller: “How do you know?”

Me: “They’re extremely quick to take your money. They were even taking payments during the government shutdown.”

Caller: “Crap, what do I do? Can I call the IRS?”

Me: “You technically can call the IRS, just not today.”

Caller: “Why not?”

Me: “It’s deadline day. During the off season hold times are measured in hours. Today you’d never even get through. Plus, it’s past seven on the east coast, so I’m pretty sure all the agents are drunk right now.”

Caller: “What do I do?!”

Me: “Stop payment on the first check, write another one, and get thee to the post office and send it certified. You have forty minutes. Have a good day!”

This Caller Needs To Be Sectioned

| OH, USA | Bizarre

(I work in one of the three support sections with similar names in a large company that works to ensure records and documents are correctly maintained for employees.)

Me: “[Section A], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I would like to get a new ID.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, that would be [Section B]. I can transfer you to them now.”

Caller: “What? I thought [Section A] did that.”

Me: “No, that’ll be [Section B].”

Caller: “Wait, so what do you do?”

Me: “We maintain your current and past records.”

Caller: “I thought that would was [Section C]!”

Me: “No, they work with section transfers and inventory.”

Caller: “So… what does [Section B] do?”

Me: “…what you are asking for?”

Caller: “Oh! Okay, I’ll call them!”

(She hangs up on me and moments later calls back.)

Caller: “Hi, I’d like to get a new ID card.”

Me: “…ma’am, this is [Section A] again.”

Caller: “But I pressed three on the robot phone voice!”

Me: “That is for us.”

Caller: “Then what’s the extension for [Section B]?!”

Me: “That’ll be extension seven, ma’am.”

Caller: “Why did it tell me to press three then?!”

Me: “I’ve literally called our line yesterday, ma’am, and it tells you we are three and [Section B] is seven.”

Caller: “It was three last I checked! You should check again!”

Me: “Ma’am, is wasn’t three for a few months now and they updated the automated message.”

Caller: “Well, it didn’t inform me of any change!”

Me: “One of the first things it says is ‘please listen carefully, as some of the options have changed.'”


Me: “Ma’am, this is [Section A]. You want—”


Me: “One moment, ma’am.”

(I transfer her to the correct section and sit back in my chair with a sigh as a coworker walks by.)

Me: “I… am NOT… paid enough for this…”

Coworker: “Welcome to [Section A].”

Vacationing At The School Of Repetition

, | UK | Extra Stupid, Hotels & Lodging, Money

(The phone rings.)

Me: “Good afternoon, School of Medicine, how may I help you.”

Caller: “Yes, my credit card number is 574…”

Me: “Excuse me, why are you giving me your credit card number?”

Caller: “I’m paying my room bill.”

Me: “Your… room bill? We don’t take any outside bookings for our teaching rooms…”

Caller: “No, no, no, the room I was staying in.”

Me: *realisation hitting* “Oh. I think you might have the wrong number, sir. This is the School of Medicine, part of [University].”

Caller: “… you’re not the Hilton Hotel?”

Me: “No, sir.”

Caller: “Oh.”

(He hangs up. I put the receiver down, and I’m just about to turn to my colleagues and comment on the strange call I just received when the phone goes again.)

Me: “Good afternoon, School of Medicine. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Good afternoon. My credit card number is 574…”

Me: “Um, sorry, sir, but you’ve dialled the wrong number again; you’re through to the School of Medicine.”

Caller: “What? Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, sir, I’m sure.”

Caller: “Oh.”

(He hangs up again. I turn to my colleagues and manage to say ‘that was weird,’ when the phone goes again.)

Me: “Good afternoon, School of Medicine.”

Caller: “Oh, you’re joking!”

Me: “Hello again, sir. No, you’re definitely ringing the wrong number.”

Caller: “But it can’t be. I put the number in right the first time!”

Me: “The first time? The first time you got through to me?”

Caller: “Yes!”

Me: “And did you try putting the number in again the other times?”

Caller: “Well, of course not. That’s why I have redial on my phone!”

(At this point, I have to look up, remove the phone from my ear and breathe deeply through my nose in order not to break into convulsions of laughter.)

Me: “Sir, do you have something with the Hilton Hotel’s number on it?”

Caller: “Yes, I have their booking confirmation.”

Me: “Can you tell me the number?”

Caller: “Yes, it’s 9079 XXXX.”

Me: “I see the problem. Our number is 9097 XXXX. You need to hang up again and dial the correct number this time.”

Caller: “Oh.” *click*

(It took me nearly a minute after he hung up the final time before I managed to start telling my colleagues what had just happened.)


Laziness Is The Father Of Repetition

Marie, Marie, Quite Contrary

| Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Funny Names

(Though I’m not the receptionist, I answer the main phone line at work, so I’m responsible for routing calls and answering general questions.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Can I talk to Marie?”

Me: “I’m sorry; we don’t have anyone here by that name.”

Caller: “Marie Stevens?”

Me: “Sorry, there’s still no one here named Marie.”

Doesn’t Quite Get The Message

| Portland, OR, USA | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid

(I am a receptionist and all incoming calls come to me, I also have two coworkers with the same first name.)

Me: “Good afternoon, [Company].”

Customer: “I missed a call from this number.”

Me: “I am sorry. All incoming calls come through my desk and I have no way of knowing who placed an outgoing call to your number. What company are you with? I might be able to look up who your project manager is.”

Customer: “[Other Company].”

Me: “I am sorry, but I don’t seem to have your company in my system. Did the person that called happen to leave a message?”

Customer: “Yes, but I don’t listen to my messages.”

Me: “I apologize, but the best way for us to know who called you is for you to listen to the message.”

Customer: “Fine!” *click*

(Phone rings, it is the same customer.)

Customer: “Can I talk to [Coworker First Name]?”

Me: “May I ask, is that [Coworker First and Last Name #1] or [Coworker First and Last Name #2]?

Customer: “How am I supposed to know? They only said [First Name].

Me: “All right, did they tell you the nature of this call in the message?”

Customer: “I don’t know; I didn’t listen that far. Just let me talk to [First Name].”

Me: “Okay, sir, please hold while I determine which one of them called you. May I please get your name and company again?”

Customer: “No!” *click*

(He didn’t call back after that so I don’t know if he ever figured it out.)