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I Absolve Myself From This Call

, , , , , , , | Right | March 13, 2023



I am the supervisor on shift today. Around seven, one of my cashiers answers the phone. I can only hear a bit of what she’s saying, but before long, she puts them on hold and comes to me, looking incredibly confused.

Cashier: “So… I have a man on the line that… said something about having punched a baby? I can’t… I don’t understand what he wants.”

Ooh, boy. I pick up the line and give my greeting, prepared for the worst.

Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name]; I’m the supervisor on shift. My cashier tells me that you… had issues with a child you hit?”

Caller: “Yeah, so, a couple of days ago, I came in and ended up punching a baby, but like, I just wanted to call and make sure I wasn’t in any trouble or whatever else, just to call and ask about it.”

At this point, I’m pretty sure he’s either lying or calling the wrong store because, even if I hadn’t been on shift, someone punching a baby is absolutely something I would have ended up hearing about.

Me: “Okay, well, I am not the person you’d need to talk to about something like this. If you’d like to call back and speak to our store manager in the morning—”

Caller: “No, I’m not calling back! I just need you to absolve me of responsibility!”

Me: “Well, like I said, I’m not the person you need to talk to. You have to speak with my store manager about the incident—”

Caller: “Aw, come on. You know how it goes! I was just in line, and this freaking kid just starts crying and the mom was standing there not doing nothing, and the kid wouldn’t shut up, so I just hit them, and that shut them up real fast, but the mom didn’t seem to care, so I just left. I just wanted to absolve myself of responsibility by calling and telling you.”

We’re fairly slow, so my cashier is listening to my half of the conversation curiously. I’m leaning closer and closer to either prank or lie.

Me: “Um… well… I am still not the person to speak to. You need to call back—”

Caller: “I am not calling back! You need to absolve me of responsibility! I called and told you, so you need to absolve me!”

I have no idea why this is his go-to phrase.

Me: “Sir, I am not the one who can do that. You need to—”

Caller: “If you hang up this phone, you absolve me of all responsibility!”

Me: “Sir, I—”

Caller: “I am absolved if you disconnect. I called and told you, which means I’m absolved!”

This continues another three or four times, with me attempting to explain and him repeating, “If you hang up, I’m absolved of all responsibility.” Eventually, I get annoyed, and we have real customers to take care of, so instead of hanging up, I just put him back on hold and tell my cashier to leave him there. If he wants to disconnect himself, he can.

My cashier starts laughing when I tell her about it.

Cashier: “You told him it wasn’t your call seven or eight times! I was counting!”

It took at least five minutes of being on hold for him to finally hang up. I still have no idea what that was about. I wrote up an incident report just in case — also to give my morning shift a bit of a laugh when they came in.

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