Drowning In Prank Calls

, , , , , | Right | December 7, 2018

(It is Sunday morning and I am opening the animal cages, which includes misting the reptiles, giving some lizards their morning veggies, etc. We have already opened, but things are slow. Suddenly my store phone rings.)

Me: “Hello. Thank you for calling [Store]. How may I help you?”

Customer: *pause* “Hi, yeah, um… My fish is like… floating on his side at the top of the water and um… Is there like… anything that could fix that?”

(I recognize the voice of the caller. Lately we have been getting calls with ridiculous stories from the same person; some are about his “drowning fish” or how “he took his fish out to play with his dog and his dog ate the fish.” It was a little amusing at first, but now it’s just annoying and time consuming, as my coworkers and I usually have work to do.)

Me: *trying to hide my annoyance, as I’m getting behind on work* “You know, I am pretty sure you called last week about your fish drowning. So, no, there is nothing I can do to help.”

(The customer is silent for a moment.)

Customer: “Oh… okay.”

(I can hear him stifling his giggles.)

Me: “Okay, thank you. Have a good day.” *hangs up*

(Fast forward to the end of my shift. I’m about to go clock out, but I am chatting with my two coworkers about the prank caller. They’ve dealt with him before. I quickly go clock out and come back to them. Suddenly, my coworker gets a call.)

Coworker #1: “Hi. Thank you for calling [Store]. How can I help you?”

(Her smiling face drops to blank emotion and then annoyance. She pulls away the store phone for a second and says it’s the same prank caller we were just talking about.)

Coworker #1: “It’s the drowning fish story.” *goes back to the phone* “I’m sorry, you say your fish has drowned?”

(The caller hangs up. Not two seconds later it rings again. She doesn’t have time to catch it that time, as a manager catches it. However, it rings again.)

Me: “Get me the number. We’ve got to do something about this.”

Coworker #2: “Pretend you’re with the police department and tell them to stop bothering us!”

Me: *laughs* “I don’t want that legal stuff on my hands, just in case. I’ve got an idea.”

(By now, the prank caller is calling us, and as soon as we pick up, he hangs up. He does this repeatedly, harassing us. My coworker reads off his number to me, and I quickly dial it using my personal phone.)

Caller: *long pause, then very sheepish and confused voice* “Hello?”

Me: *in a very thick, fake German accent with great emotion* “YES, HELLO, THIS IS DR. BETRUG WITH THE UNIVERSITY. I HEAR YOU HAVE A DROWNING FISH? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!”

(The caller immediately hung up, and we did not receive any more prank calls from him for the rest of the day! I made both coworkers’ days.)

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