Works Both Ways

, , , , , , | Right | July 11, 2019

(It’s the 1980s. I am on telephone support for a software company. I have a common first name, and there are four other employees with the same first name. Two of us share an office. Because there are five of us, we have to tell customers our last name, in case they need to call back, or file a complaint or compliment. It is against policy to give our real names, so we each make up a last name for our phone identity. I pick the name “Booth.” I figure it is a good mnemonic; customers will remember that if they needed help, just “phone Booth.” I am speaking to one customer. After spending nearly an hour getting her software up and running, we have this exchange:)

Customer: “Can I have your name, in case I have to call back?”

Me: “It’s [My Name] Booth.”

Customer: “How do you spell that? L-O-O-S-E?”

Me: “No, not ‘Loose.’ It’s ‘Booth,’ like in ‘phone booth.’”

Customer: “Oh, B-O-O-S-E?”

Me: “No, it’s like ‘phone booth.’ B-O-O-T-H.”

Customer: “Oh, B-O-T-H.”

Me: *facepalm* “Right.”

(I decided that was close enough, and ended the call. Then, I realized that if she ever called back, she’d ask to speak to [My Name]. The receptionist would ask, “Which [My Name]?” and she’d say, “Both.” At least she’d be connected to the right office!)

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Oh, Dear…

, , , , , , | Romantic | July 10, 2019

(One of my coworkers got married, and a few weeks later he is still very much in his honeymoon phase. Everyone in the office has heard about when he met her, when they started dating, and when they got engaged through passing comments during casual conversations, but none of us has ever met her. He decides to attend a work party and bring his wife along. The running gag all night long is his overuse of terms of endearment.)

Coworker: “Darling, can you come here?”

Coworker: “Love, come meet my manager!”

Coworker: “Did you find your phone, sweetheart?’

Coworker: “I’m just going to run to the car, babe.”

Coworker: “Honey, have you seen my keys?”

Coworker: “Sweetie, can I borrow your phone?”

Coworker: “I can’t find my wallet, dear.”

Coworker: “Sugar, can you hand me that glass?”

Coworker: “Oh, angel! Come meet [Other Coworker]!”

Coworker: “Hey, lover, what time do you want to head out?”

(Eventually…)

Wife: “[Coworker]! Do you even know my name?!”

(I feel like I have to mention that she said it jokingly. They’ve been married for about seven years now, and he still prefers pet names. I wish them the best!)

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Real Pretend Advice

, , , , , | Related | July 5, 2019

(I am taking my young daughter for some after-school shopping, and she has just been telling me about her day at school where they have been learning about personal safety, including not telling complete strangers their names. We popped into a coffee shop where they write your name on the cup and I realise I can use it as a teaching experience.)

Barista: “Name?”

Me: *gives a completely random name and steps to the side to wait*

Daughter: *looks confused*

Me: “Do you know why I gave the wrong name?”

Daughter: “No?”

Me: “What did you learn today about talking to strangers?”

Daughter: “Oh! So the lady still doesn’t know your real name!”

Me: “That’s right, so she can’t pretend she knows me. If she tried to pretend to know me, she would be using the wrong name, so I’d know she was a stranger.”

Daughter: “So if a stranger asks my name, I can give a pretend name?”

Me: “Yes, or you can just say, ‘I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.’”

Daughter: “Mum, that lady is shouting your pretend name.”

(The poor barista had been calling my order for the entire time, and I’d been listening for my real one.)

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Bob Bobbertson Of Bobtown

, , , , , , | Working | June 30, 2019

(A friend of mine is from the Middle East and has a slightly unusual name. His fiancée lives in a gated complex and every time he goes to visit her this exchange will happen at the guard house.)

Friend: “I’m here to visit [Fiancée]. My name is [Slightly Unusual Name].”

Guard: “Could you spell that, please?”

(My friend gets tired of that routine, so the next time he drives up to the guard house, the exchange goes like this:)

Friend: “I’m here to visit [Fiancée]. My name is Bob.”

Guard: “Could you spell that, please?”

(Mental face-plant on the steering wheel.)

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He Was Always The Most Stupid Lannister

, , , , | Right | June 25, 2019

Customer: “I got this the other day and they told me that I need to come back today to return this.”

Me: “Right. So, what are you returning, again?”

Customer: “I returned the phone already.”

Me: “Pardon, but I don’t think I’m understanding what you need.”

Customer: “The case! I need to return the case.”

Me: “All right. Do you have a receipt?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay, what’s the phone number associated with the account?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “All right. What’s the name associated with the account?”

Customer: “My name.”

Me: “So, what’s that?”

Customer: “[Name pronounced Jay-Mee] [Last Name].”

Me: “Mind spelling your first name, please?”

Customer: “J-I-A-M-E.”

Me: “Sorry, that’s not coming up.”

Customer: “J-A-M-E.”

Me: “What? Can I just see your ID?”

(The customer handed me their ID, which clearly stated “J-A-I-M-E.” I’ll never get those brain cells back. How is it that people cannot spell their own names?)

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