A Birthday Fit For A King

| Belgium | Language & Words, Top

(This call takes place during pre-Internet times, back when I was a student working a holiday job at a call center for a national telecom operator. My job was to look up international phone and fax numbers for our customers.)

Me: “International inquiries, how can I help you?”

Elderly Male Caller: “Hello? I need the number of The King of Morocco’s direct line.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that type of information would be classified. I can give you the number of our embassy in Morocco if you like. Maybe someone over there can further assist you? ”

Elderly Male Caller: “No, no, that won’t do. Your colleague already told me to dial [embassy’s number], but that’s no good. I want the direct line of The King. He lives in Casablanca.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m afraid we cannot help you.”

Elderly Male Caller: “Are you quite sure? It’s The King I’m looking for, he lives in Casablanca, which is in Morocco, and I’m quite sure there is only one of them in the whole country. Surely you can look up his number?”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t, sir, as I’ve explained before—”

Elderly Male Caller: *sadly* “I used to have his number, you know, but I’ve lost the notebook it was in. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait for him to call me then. Goodbye…”

(The caller hangs up. However, over the next hour, several of my coworkers get the same call, with the elderly man sounding more desperate, and repeating over and over he needs to speak to The King in Casablanca. Eventually, I get him on my line again.)

Me: “Sir, I’m really sorry, but there’s nothing more me or my colleagues can do for you. The King’s direct number is private. We simply cannot access that kind of information.”

Elderly Male Caller: “But it’s his 68th birthday! I ALWAYS call him on his birthday! Ever since he moved to Casablanca, over 25 years ago! My brother, The King!”

(At this point, it finally dawned on me that “The King” he was trying to call was simply the elderly caller’s brother, Mr. De Koning (“The King”, literally), who had indeed moved to Casablanca, and who indeed turned out to be the only “De Koning”/”The King” in the Casablanca telephone directory. When I finally gave our customer the number of “The King” of Casablanca, he was extremely grateful!)

For Bitter Or Worse, Part 2

| Sweden | Bizarre, Spouses & Partners

Me: “Welcome to [Directory Enquiries Company]. You’re speaking to [my name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I’m looking for the number to a man named [name]. I don’t remember where he lives, but I hope he shouldn’t be too hard to find.”

Me: “That’s a pretty uncommon name, so he wasn’t hard to find at all. If you’d like to, I can send you an SMS to your cellphone with his information. Or, would you rather write it down yourself?”

Caller: “Oh, I’ve never understood these cellphones, so I’d rather write it down myself, please. Just give me a moment to fetch a pen.”

(Up until now, the caller has been very polite and calmer than a tibetan monk on Valium. Suddenly…)

Caller: “GET ME A F***ING PEN, YOU F***ING IDIOT!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Caller: “Oh, not you dear, I’m just talking to a good-for-nothing slob over here.” *to someone in the background* “NO, NOT THE FLYSWATTER! WHAT THE F*** AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT?! A PEN! A F***ING PEN, YOU IDIOT!”

(The cussing and hollering goes on for about a minute before the caller gets back to the phone.)

Caller: “Alright, I have a pen now. What was the number, dear?”

Me: *reads the number to the caller*

Caller: “Thank you, dear. You have been most helpful! Have a lovely day!” *hangs up*

Related:
For Bitter Or Worse

How To Keep Your Online Devices In Line, Part 2

| Oak Ridge, TN, USA | Bizarre, Technology

Caller: “Yes, I would like you to send me a new modem. This one you sent me is possessed.”

Me: “…Possessed, ma’am? What makes you say that?”

Caller: “I turn the lights out, and the beast stares at me with the eyes of Lucifer!”

(The modem she is using has two lights on the front. When the modem is powered on but not connected to anything, the lights blink red.)

Me: “Does the modem ever seem to calm down at all, ma’am? Or is it always angry?”

Caller: “It only gets angry when I unplug it at night, but I have to unplug it so it doesn’t bring other demons! I can’t leave it connected when I’m not watching it!”

(I spent a good 15 minutes with this lady, who was always very kind, explaining that the lights were only status indicators. She insisted the modem was possessed, and I eventually sent her a new modem with blue lights instead.)

Related:
How To Keep Your Online Devices In Line

Can’t Get A Number In Edgewise

| Sioux Falls, SD, USA | Uncategorized

Me: “…Okay, well, if you need anything else, you can call us back. Would you like the number?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay. Are you ready?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Wonderful. It’s 1—”

Caller: “What’s the number?”

Me: “It’s 1-8—”

Caller: “What’s the number?”

Me: “It’s 1—”

Caller: “1, yes, you said that! Hello?! What is the rest?! What is with this service?!”

How To Keep Your Online Devices In Line

| Tennessee, USA | Bizarre, Technology, Top

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company] DSL tech support. How can I help you?”

Customer: “My modem bit me.”

Me: “It… bit you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I went to turn it off and it bit me. And now it’s staring at me every time I try to get back in the room.”

(The modem has two red lights on the front that are lit solid when everything is working properly. The customer also sounds like they’re not exactly sober, so I decide that giving them a logical response won’t be much help to them.)

Me: “All right, what you should do is turn the light on in the room, close the door, and go to bed. The modem will stay up all night trying to get to you, but be stuck in the room. By morning it’ll be too exhausted to fight back and you can duct tape it to the desk to keep it in line from now on.”

Customer: “Thank you!” *hangs up*

(The next day, he actually called back to compliment me for solving his problem!)