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    Making A Bad Impression

    , | Japan | Crazy Requests, Military, Politics

    (I am the operations manager of an overseas military TV and radio station. In place of regular commercials, we run locally-made information spots. We get feedback through an email system, mostly complaints about stuff out of our control, such as TV shows and music selections. A few months ago, we got an email from an irate listener complaining about a radio spot advertising the base library, where one of the producers did an imitation of former President George W. Bush. He was livid about the disrespect to our former Commander-In-Chief. I responded professionally, explaining we often use humor in our spots to make the information memorable, and the impression was fairly innocuous. He kept emailing back more irate, insulting military broadcasters, questioning our patriotism, accusing us of communism, etc. Finally, he came to our station to personally confront me. The following exchange occurred in our lobby.)

    Irate Marine: “Your excuses are just that! The ‘humor’ of that imitation is offensive and disrespectful! How dare you demean the former president!”

    Me: “Well, he didn’t seem to think so.”

    Irate Marine: “… What?”

    Me: *points to framed picture on the wall* “See that?”

    (It’s George W. Bush in our production room laughing with a young Marine.)

    Irate Marine: “He came here?”

    Me: “Years ago, I’m told. See that Marine in the photo? He’s the one who voiced and produced that spot. That photo was taken while he was playing the commercial for The President. He apparently has a better sense of humor about himself than you do.”

    Irate Marine: *walks out the door, mumbling* “Well, it’s STILL disrespectful!”

    It’s No Trouble Causes You Trouble

    | AB, Canada | Crazy Requests

    (All week long, we’ve been giving away tickets to a concert on Saturday night. As our offices close at noon, I’ve been telling all the concert winners to be at the station before noon on Friday to pick up their tickets. I duck down to the station on Saturday morning to do some paperwork I’d fallen behind on, when the phone rings…)

    Caller: “Yeah, I just want to say you’re all a bunch of lying jerks! I won tickets to the concert tonight, and the stupid DJ said I had to come to the station AFTER noon on Friday to pick them up, and you were closed!”

    Me: “Are you sure, ma’am? I was the one giving away the tickets all week, and I was certain I told all the winners BEFORE noon on Friday.”

    Caller: “ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR? YOU SAID AFTER NOON ON FRIDAY! And I really wanted to go to this concert, too! You are the worst station ever for lying to your listeners like this!”

    Me: “Well, I have no doubt that some kind of miscommunication took place, and for that, I do apologize. But, you’re in luck. Because I’m here today putting in some overtime, you can come down to the station right now and pick up your tickets!”

    Caller: “Wait, what?”

    Me: “Yeah. The concert isn’t until tonight, and I’ve got nothing else to do today. I can gladly wait down here at the station for you to come get your tickets today.”

    Caller: “What? No… no… I live outside of town, and I didn’t want to come back into town today.”

    Me: “Oh, um, okay. I feel really bad about you not getting your tickets, so how about this: I’m just about done here. How about then if I hop in the company truck, and deliver the tickets to you?”

    Caller: “What? No! No. I live really far away, and I don’t want you to go through all that trouble.”

    Me: “As I said, ma’am, I’ve got nothing else to do today, and I’ve got a full tank of gas. Where do you live?”

    Caller: “No! Don’t go through all that trouble. I’m just disappointed because this was the first time I’d ever won anything.”

    Me: “Okay, then, how about this: on Monday morning, I’ll talk to my boss and see if we can arrange some kind of alternative prize. It won’t be time sensitive, like tickets, so you’ll be able to come down and pick it up whenever you like.”

    Caller: “No! Stop going through all this trouble for me!”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, I’m at a loss. I’m very sorry for the miscommunication that’s caused you to miss out on your concert. I’ve offered everything within my power to make it up to you, and you said no to everything. What can the station do to make this up to you?”

    Caller: “Well… I… um… bah! I wasn’t expecting anyone to actually be there working today! I just wanted to leave an angry voice mail complaining about the situation!”

    Me: “Would you like my boss’s voice mail so you can still make your complaint?”

    Caller: “Well, no! Not now. You’ve tried so hard to make it up to me, that it wouldn’t seem right.”

    Me: *sighs* “I’m transferring you to my boss’s voice mail.”

    (On Monday morning, after hearing the voice mail and listening to my tale, the boss actually reamed me out for being patient with her beyond human reason!)

    Changing His Tune

    | AB, Canada | Crazy Requests, Musical Mayhem

    (I work at a radio station. I answer a call.)

    Caller: “Yeah, what’s this song you’re playing right now?”

    Me: “Why, it’s [name and title of song].”

    Caller: “Well, whatever it is, it’s bull-s***! I can’t believe you’d allow such a s*** song on the air. YOU SUCK AT YOUR JOB!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir.”

    Caller: “Well, there’s only one way you can fix this. Play Kick Start My Heart by Motley Crue.”

    Me: “I can’t do that, sir. We don’t have that song.”

    Caller: “WHY THE F*** NOT?”

    Me: “We’re not a classic rock station, sir. As such, our selection of classic rock is rather limited.”

    Caller: “Look, I’m the voice of the people! And the people have decided that you suck, and the music you play sucks. So PLAY MY SONG!”

    Me: “As I said, sir, I can’t do that, because we don’t have it. The best I can do is pass that suggestion along to my boss, and if he agrees with you, we’ll get it. Perhaps you’d like to talk to my boss directly about this? I can transfer your call—”

    Caller: “SO YOU WANT ME TO DO YOUR JOB FOR YOU? JUST PLAY MY F****** SONG!”

    (He proceeds to call me and my station a variety of names until I get tired of him and hang up. This goes on twice a day for about a month. Every time one of the popular female artists of today comes on, he’ll call me up, cuss me out, and demand to hear ‘Kick Start My Heart.’ One day, the only Motley Crue song in our library, ‘Girls, Girls, Girls,’ comes up in the playlist. I play it, and he calls.)

    Caller: “So you finally decided to f****** listing to me and get Motley Crue. NOW PLAY KICK START MY HEART!”

    Me: “I can’t do that, sir. We don’t have it.”

    Caller: “I know you have Kick Start My Heart!”

    Me: “What makes you think that?”

    Caller: “Because you’re playing Girls, Girls, Girls! It’s on the same album! So if you have Girls, Girls, Girls, you’ve got to have Kick Start My Heart!”

    Me: “Sir, I took your concerns to my boss. I told him that the people were demanding that we add Kick Start My Heart to our library. After a lengthy exchange, he decided the only Motley Crue song I could have is the radio single of Girls, Girls, Girls.”

    (There is a lengthy silence from the other end of the line. Finally, he speaks, but instead of cussing me out, he has turned into an incredibly polite person.)

    Caller: “Oh, I didn’t know that. In all that time, you were actually listening to me, and taking my concerns. Hey, you did your best and thanks for that. By the way, love your station and love your show. Keep up the good work!”

    Stupidity Killed The Radio Star

    | Saskatoon, SK, Canada | Musical Mayhem

    (I work at a radio station. This caller is live on the air.)

    Me: “Hello! What would you like to hear?”

    Teenage Girl:Fireflies!”

    Me: “By Owl City?”

    Teenage Girl: “Woah! I hear my voice!”

    Me: “Yeah, you’re on the air.”

    Teenage Girl: “Molly! If you can hear this I’m so totally sorry about kissing your brother!”

    Me: “Uh…”

    Teenage Girl: “Are you going to play I Like Big Butts or not?”