A Scammer With A Sense Of Morality

, , , | Legal | February 15, 2021

I do virtual support work as a volunteer for the American branch of an internationally famous emergency response charity. Most of the phone calls I get on my cell phone are related to this work, to the point where I automatically answer my personal phone with the greeting for the charity.

The phone rings one Saturday morning.

Me: “American [Charity], this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

I hear a startled male voice with a heavy accent.

Caller: “What? Who is this?”

I start to sense a scammer.

Me: “This is the American [Charity].”

Caller: “This is Saturday! You are working today? This is a business line?”

I make my voice warm, comforting, and absolutely oozing sincerity.

Me: “Sir, the [Charity] is on duty all day, every day, 365 days of the year. Now, how may I help you?”

Caller: “I am so sorry! I am so sorry! Never mind!”

I should start doing this to scammers on my personal landline, as well, but I think the national headquarters would object.

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Welcome To Idiotshire, Population: Me

, , , , , , , | Working | January 19, 2021

The animal rescue/sanctuary charity I volunteer with also serves as the helpline for a national bird of prey charity. We only have the resources to go to local cases but have a directory of rehabilitators across the UK so we can put callers in contact with someone close to them. For those unfamiliar with the UK’s counties, many are named after the most important city in them — Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, etc.

In this instance, I’m helping a caller who came across a wounded peregrine falcon and I have reached the stage of finding someone who can help them.

Me: “All right, let’s see if we can find anyone close by. Whereabouts are you?”

Caller: “I’m in Cambridge.”

Since this is one such city as I mentioned before, this would be enough for most people to go on. But in this case, my brain completely fails me and I respond before I can stop myself.

Me: “Right. My geography’s not very good; what county is that?”

There’s a slight pause, just long enough for it to sink in.

Caller: “Cambridgeshire.”

Unsurprisingly, the feeling of idiocy strikes me hard as I realise how incompetent I sound and I try to think of something to say to get things back on track.

Me: “I rest my case.”

For what it’s worth, that did get a chuckle out of her and helped lighten the mood of an otherwise serious call. Mercifully, I was able to find a rescue center close by that the caller could take the bird to for treatment, without even forgetting the layout of my own country again!

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Trying To Make You Abort Your Speech

, , , , , , | Right | January 13, 2021

I work in a children’s toy store that specializes in stuffed animals. I am checking out a guest after having had nothing but a polite and fun interaction with them.

Me: “All right, it’s just gonna prompt for a donation on the PIN pad first!”

Guest: “What does it go to?”

I launch into my well-rehearsed speech about our current campaign.

Me: “[Foundation] donates to—”

Guest: *Interrupting* “Because if it’s going to any abortion clinics, I don’t want to donate.”

I’m temporarily caught off-guard by this. Again, I work in a children’s store. There are at least four HUGE children’s charity groups I can think of right now that I would like to assume come to mind first. I have also not had any problems with the guest leading up to this to indicate this might be a problem.

I am sputtering and trying not to agree with them, while also not making any statements on behalf of [Store].

Me: “Well, they donate through [list of well-known charity groups], as well as local charities. They also donate upwards of [amount of product] each year—”

Guest: “I just don’t want my money going to anything like that. You never know these days.”

They donated $3.

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When All Else Fails, Blame God

, , , , , , , | Right | January 5, 2021

Since almost the beginning of the global health crisis, I’ve been volunteer grocery-shopping for the elderly and vulnerable through a secular local charity. As the winter holidays approach, my volunteer leader reaches out to me asking my availability over the break.

Me: “Oh, I can shop anytime. I’m not going anywhere and I don’t celebrate Christmas.”

Volunteer Leader: “You’re Jewish?”

Me: “What? No. I’m atheist.”

Volunteer Leader: “Wait… Why are you volunteering?”

Me: “Excuse me?! I’m shopping for these elderly people because it’s too dangerous for them to go out right now. I’m helping because there’s a need.”

Volunteer Leader: “All right. Okay. Sorry. I just don’t see the reason you’re volunteering.”

Me: “Seriously?! Okay. So, why are you volunteering?”

Volunteer Leader: “I help in the name of God.”

Me: “Oh. To get in his good graces.”

Volunteer Leader: “No. To get the word out of his goodness.”

Me: “To proselytize.”

Volunteer Leader: “Well… no.”

Me: “Look, your questioning my reason to help others means you don’t grasp doing something good for its own sake.”

Volunteer Leader: “What? No. Goodness starts and stops with God. That’s why I am here to help. Why would you volunteer if it wasn’t for Him?”

Me: “Because it’s the right thing to do. How do you explain my volunteering?”

Volunteer Leader: “God’s making you do it.”

Me: *Sighs* “Just give me the info of the people who need their shopping done over the holidays; I can help whoever needs it.”

I’m not going to ask for a different volunteer leader, but he might ask to not oversee me anymore; I’m not sure. I know that, as the months go on, volunteers are dropping out and those of us sticking with it as our lives get busy again are more and more valuable to the charity. Hopefully, next year, our services will no longer be needed and the elderly and vulnerable can get back to the lives they had before.

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Your Hopes Of Getting My Money Went Up In Flames

, , , , | Working | November 23, 2020

Normally, if I get a call from a number I don’t recognize, I just let it go to voicemail. But this week, I am bored and decide to answer every single call. This one is one of the worst.

Me: “Hello?” *Pause* “Hello?”

Caller: “Hello?”

Me: “Yes?”

Caller: “Oh, good, I was about to get my answering machine voice ready.”

Me: “Okay.”

Caller: “Is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Caller: “Hi, I’m calling from [Town] firefighters’ union. We know that our firefighters put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, and later this week, we’ll be sending you some information about how you can contribute. Can I count on your support?”

Me: “I’ll take a look at it.”

Caller: “Great! Now, any amount can make a big difference, and we do have our Platinum Level supporters for $250. Should I put you down for that?”

Me: “Hang on, I thought you said you were going to send me something in the mail?”

Caller: “We will.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll just look at it then.”

Caller: “Great. So would you like to contribute $100 for our Gold Level or $75 for the Star Level?”

Me: “Thanks, I’ll just look at the information when it comes in the mail.”

Caller: “Okay, that sounds good. Now, even a small amount can make a difference, so can I put you down for $25 dollars at the Rookie Level?”

Me: “Thanks, I’ll just look at it when it comes in the mail.”

I hung up.

The sad part, this guy’s attitude actually discouraged me from contributing more than it helped. When and if this information comes in the mail, it’s going in the trash.

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