Answering The Call Of Duty

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2017

(I’m working the graveyard shift at our dispatch center, answering 911 calls from the public. Usually this is the time when we receive our most interesting callers.)

Caller: “I’d like to speak the head honcho, you know? Who is ever in charge of the… uh… department or police or whatever?”

Me: *thinking he wants to speak to a supervisor to make a complaint* “What is this in regards to?”

Caller: “About a job. How to get one with the police.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Caller: “I’m asking about how to get a job there.”

Me: “You’re asking about getting a job… on an emergency line?”

Caller: “Yes, I think I’m really good at what I’m doing now. I could help out, work as… uh… what’s it called… for an undercover cop. That’s what I mean. I could work as an undercover cop. How can I get a job doing that?”

(Just to make sure he’s not doing anything that could endanger himself or the public, I decide to continue and ask questions.)

Me: “And what is it that you’re exactly doing right now?”

Caller: “I’ve been noticing a lot of crime and drug sales in the area. At my home and at [Major Intersection on East side of town.] I play a lot of Call of Duty and I know what I’m doing. I’m just watching all the activity around me. I think I could be a real help. I just have this one little thing in court that I need to take care of, but other than that, I don’t have anything else. I’m clean.”

(At this point, I’m too flabbergasted to be my usual stern self when someone abuses the 911 system. I remain patiently polite, already imagining telling this story later.)

Me: “Okay… well… you will need to go to the town’s website and look for any job openings for the police department. I think they’re hiring officers now, so go take a look. Just don’t call 911 asking for a job here. And if you do see anything drug deals or anything like that going on, don’t confront the people, just give us a call and let us know.”

Caller: “Yeah, yeah, of course. I won’t confront them. I’m just watching. So, just go to the town’s website?”

Me: “Yes. You can fill out an application there.”

Caller: “Thank you so much! I really think I could be a big help.” *click*

Dispatcher: *next to me* “Did someone really just call 911 for a job? Were they serious?”

Me: “I… don’t… know.”

Mining That Game For All Its Worth

, , , , | General | August 9, 2017

(I am currently working in the children’s section of a large clothing store. A woman and her young son come up to me.)

Customer: “Excuse me; where are your Minecraft belts?”

(We sell a lot of Minecraft clothes for kids, but most of them are shirts and jackets. I’ve never seen a Minecraft-themed belt in any other store, let alone ours.)

Me: “Pardon me — a Minecraft BELT, you said?”

Customer: “Yes. We saw them in here just a few days ago!”

(I’m sceptical of this claim, but I decide to try to do my best with her.)

Me: “I don’t believe I’ve seen any belts like that down here recently; if we had any, they’d be over in our boy’s belt section. I can take you over there to check, if you’d like.”

Customer: “Yes. I KNOW we saw them!”

(I lead the woman over to where we keep the belts for boys. Immediately I can see that we have nothing Minecraft-themed over here.)

Customer: “Ah, see! THERE they are.”

(She immediately grabs an ordinary belt that has a camouflage pattern on it, which just so happens to use square patterns; what’s known as a “digital camouflage.”)

Customer: “See? I knew you had them!”

(I was speechless… Apparently, anything square-shaped or pixelated is “Minecraft” these days!)

Verbal Oil Spill

, , , , | Right | August 9, 2017

(The group in the section next to mine monitors the notification line for reports of incidents and spills in the state. They take all sorts of complaints and information requests. On off hours, the line is transferred to a .wav file and sent in email for the next day. Here is one they received:)

Caller: “Yes, this is [Name]; telephone number is [number]. Highway [location] down from a… it’s, uh… I don’t know the location. You got oil and water look that’s, uh, running down the stream; the amount I don’t know. I took a sample. It’s in my car storage. You know, I’m about to lose my life… going up and down this highway. I called about that oil spill out there by the football stadium. You put that new green tank. You hadn’t said “thank you.” I work for [Oil Company]; still working for them. I got [Training Certification] in my wallet. I don’t carry it around. I’m just trying to get my respect back. I got two bad kids who think that I’m NOTHING. They get in my face and they talk about me worse than the kids do on the outside. My wife seems to think I’m stupid, too, but I’m not! All I want to do for you all is get my name cleared up, get my stuff, uh, and I’ve been told to get out the country and I’m gon’ get out the country. I want my passport and my visa and get my shots and stuff together, and I’m gon’ get out the country. Okay? I’m going to Great Britain. And goin’ get out the country. And you won’t have to worry about me NO MORE! Let’s make that happen. And tell [Name] with the [completely unrelated State Legal Agency] that I’m telling the truth. My glass has been broken, they broke my ankle, my arm been broken, and going to [General Hospital] they say “come back, come back, your family needs ya.” They were talking about that in Fort Worth, Texas. Make them boys tell the truth. I don’t think all of them bad but I need to get out of here. M’kay, I’ve been done my time and I’m ready to go.”

(They wrote it down as an oil spill…)

The Cult Of The Living Skull

, , , | Learning | August 9, 2017

(My friend works as an anthropologist at a university.)

Friend: “Funny story; I was glancing through our skull models and apparently we have the cast of Charles Manson’s skull in our collection? I just thought that was an odd choice.”

(Friend thinks for a moment…)

Friend: “Or wait, maybe it’s Charles Mason. That would make more sense.”

Me: “Charles Manson isn’t dead, so I hope not.”

Friend: “That’s why I was confused. Must have been the English astronomer, then.”

Asking On The Cuff

, , , , , | Right | August 8, 2017

(The phone rings.)

Manager: “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [Manager]. How can I help you?”

Female Caller: “A man is going to call you and ask if you sell handcuffs. Tell him you don’t.”

(About two hours later, the phone rings again.)

Male Caller: “Hey, um, do you sell handcuffs?”

Manager: “Yes.”

Male Caller: “I’m parked in the back. If I give you my card, could you bring me the handcuff keys?”

(My manager went into the back parking lot to find that this guy had been handcuffed to his steering wheel. Instead of making him pay for handcuffs, my manager pulled out his key and unlocked them. Not only had this woman gotten mad enough to handcuff him to the steering wheel, she called every adult store in the area to tell them not to sell him keys. Hell hath no fury…)

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