Bin There, Done That

, , , | Right | March 24, 2017

(One of many things we do is help with the management of refuse and recycling facilities for local residents. The county is a popular retirement destination and most of our callers are elderly. Unfortunately, this means we get a high volume of calls where we just can’t help people because no matter how hard we try, we cannot coax their requests out of them.)

Me: “Bore da, good morning, [Local Government].”

Elderly Caller: “BINS!”

Me: “You’ve got a query about your refuse or recycling?”

Elderly Caller: “BINS!”

Me: “Have you missed a collection? Would you like me to send some staff over to come and help empty your bins?”

Elderly Caller: “BINS!”

Me: “Was it that you needed a replacement bin? Did one of your bins get broken?”

Elderly Caller: “NUHHH. BINS. MY BINS!”

Me: “I’d like to know how I can help you with your bins, sir. Do you know your address? Or is there somebody in the room who can help you with your call? I really want to help you if I can.”

Elderly Caller: “BIIIIIINNNSSSSS! BINS! MY BINS! BIII-I-I-I-I-NNNNSSSSS!”

(I heard the phone clatter to the table or floor and the line went dead shortly thereafter. I have set up regular direct debits to dementia charities since I started working here. We get several calls like that every day and I always wish I could do more! I especially wish we had 999-style call location technology so we could trace calls and call people back who’ve hung up on us by mistake. Maybe one day…)


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