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Not Very Helpful Advice

| UT, USA | Extra Stupid

Me: “911, what is the address of your emergency?”

Caller: *who sounds like an elderly woman* “How much does it cost to mail a package to India?”

Me: “I’m… sorry, what?”

Caller: “I have to mail a package to India. How much does it cost?”

Me: “Ma’am, do you need the police or an ambulance?”

Caller: *now angry* “No! But they told me to call this number if I needed help, and I need help!”

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Nine-Dum-Dum

| USA | Extra Stupid, Popular

(Upon answering the 911 line, I immediately prompt the caller to give me the address of the emergency where units are to respond out to. I’ve gotten the address and callback number, and have found out that a young girl is having a sudden onset of blindness and lethargy. The ambulance has been dispatched, and is en-route, and I’m trying to give post dispatch instructions when I hear loud noises, yelling, and what sounds like a car horn in the background.)

Me: “Ma’am, I need you to tell me what’s happening right now. What is that noise I’m hearing?”

Caller: “Oh, that’s my mom. She’s honking the horn at the other drivers.”

Me: “What other drivers? I thought you said you were with the patient?”

Caller: “I am. We’re driving to the hospital.”

Me: *trying not to sound exasperated* “Then why did you call for an ambulance to be dispatched to [Address]?”

Caller: “Oh…”

Will Find Himself Magically Arrested

| Tucson, AZ, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal

(I work as a call taker for a local police department. I overhear the following from a coworker speaking to a man who calls in a regular basis.)

Coworker: “Okay, John, I see that you were arrested a few days ago for filing a false report. Now, if there is no crime being committed this time, you will be in trouble again.”

(I tune my coworker out while working on gathering information for other calls until I hear this part.)

Coworker: “How was someone able to steal your wallet and keys in the middle of the night when those were inside the pillow you were sleeping on?” *pause* “How did they get in and get your stuff if you were sleeping on it?” *longer pause* “They have magical powers? Is that what you want me to tell the officers?”

(Later my coworker told everyone at that point, the caller had been silent for a little while, and then said he didn’t want to get in trouble.)

Coworker: “Okay, but you want me to send officers to you? And that’s what you want me to tell them? That someone stole your keys and wallet by using magical powers? All right. I will let them know.”

(It turns out that the caller had called in every day after he was arrested, reporting different matters. Those were handled as callback reports, which take a couple of days, so the police didn’t make the connection. No such luck this time!)

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