When ‘Geography For Dummies’ Is A Step Up

, , , , | Right | July 21, 2009

(A customer called to check on the status of a mail order she mailed a week prior. I mentioned that mail orders are sent to Albany, NY.)

Customer: “Where are you?”

Me: “I am in Bangor, Maine.”

Customer: “Oh. Is that in New York?”

Me: “No. It’s… Bangor, Maine.” pause “Bangor is a city in the state of Maine.”

Customer: “Really? Where is Maine?”

Me: “It’s northeast of New York. It is the most northeastern state in the country. It borders New Hampshire to the east.”

Customer: “It borders what?”

Me: “New Hampshire.” *long pause* “New Hampshire is also a state.”

Customer: “…huh. Never heard of it.”


This story is part of our Geography roundup.

Click here to read the first story!

Click here to go to the roundup.

1 Thumbs
2,784

Solar Spaciness

, , , , | Right | May 29, 2009

(A customer is looking at light-powered watches.)

Me: “It needs to be charged with eight hours of direct sunlight or lamplight before it will keep time.”

Customer: “Does it have to be Australian sunlight, or can I take it to England and use it there?”

1 Thumbs
2,755

Sometimes, Ignorance Really Is Bliss

, , , , , | Right | April 30, 2009

(A customer has called to redeem the points earned on her credit card in exchange for return airfare from Montreal, Quebec, to Chicago, Illinois. I have just given her the flight departure and arrival times.)

Customer: “Why is the flight going there so short? You said it was a 90-minute flight.”

Me: “The times are given in their respective time zones. We are in the Eastern time zone, but Chicago is one hour behind us, and it’s in the Central time zone. The flight really is 90 minutes long, it just looks shorter due to the time difference.”

Customer: “Time… zones?”

Me: “Yes, we have five time zones: Maritimes, Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific Time. In your case, there is a one hour difference between each zone. If it is 11:00 am here, it is only 10:00 am in Chicago. So when your flight arrives in Chicago at 11:30 am, that is Chicago time. In Montreal it will actually be 12:30 pm, so the flight is an hour and a half.”

Customer: “Then why is the return flight so long? It’s like, an hour longer than the way there!”

Me: “Again, it is the difference between the time zones, only in reverse. It only looks as though the flight is longer but it’s also a 90-minute flight. It adds an hour on the return flight because you are coming back East.”

Customer: “I still don’t get it; the flight should be the same time in both directions. It’s 30 minutes to get there, but more than two hours to get back!”

(After 20 minutes of more explaining I give up.)

Me: “For the flight to Chicago, the wind is at your back, so the plane goes really fast. On the way back, it’s against the wind, and so the plane goes slower.”

Customer: “Oh! Well, that makes much more sense. Thank you!”

Me: “I do my best. Have a good trip, ma’am.”

1 Thumbs
5,050

Eastern Standard Time Travelers

, , | Right | April 28, 2009

(I received this call shortly after news broke about the emergency landing of a US Airways flight on the Hudson.)

Me: “Thank you for calling customer service. How may I help you today?”

Customer: “Did you hear about the plane that crashed into the Hudson River just a few moments ago?”

Me: “There was a plane crash? Oh, my… was anyone hurt?”

Customer: “No, they all lived. I’m surprised you haven’t heard about it yet. Where are you located?”

Me: “Well, I don’t have access to a television to see the current news. I am in Oregon.”

Customer: “Well, no wonder you haven’t heard of it happening yet. It happened in New York, which is three hours ahead of you!”

1 Thumbs
2,615

First Ocean To The Right, Then Straight On ‘Til Drowning

, , | Right | April 16, 2009

Me: “How can I help you today, sir?”

Man: “What’s the quickest way to get to Hawaii?”

Me: “…probably via Vancouver International Airport.”

Man: “What?”

Me: “Look, I’m sorry, I’m not actually a travel agent. I can put you in touch with someone who can book you a flight–”

Man: “I don’t wanna fly there! I could’ve done that from Seattle! I’m going to drive.”

Me: “Over more than twenty-five hundred miles of ocean?”

Man: “You can’t fool me. I know it’s not that far. Besides, it’s much cheaper to fly there through the Canadian part of America.”

Me: “No, Canada’s not–”

Man: “I’m gonna report you for being unhelpful, missy. Now give me god**** directions to Hawaii if you don’t want your a** fired.”

Me: “Turn left on to any pier you come across, and then drive straight on, You’ll get there eventually, and don’t worry about the water. You can probably sue for damages.”

(Amazingly, he left, perfectly happy with my directions to essentially drown himself.)

1 Thumbs
4,621