That Old Adage About Old Age

| Wales, UK | Bizarre, Health & Body

(My department for the local county council takes service requests from residents of the area for all sorts of things:)

Me: “Bore da. Good morning. This is [Local Council].”

Caller: *shouting* “I’M OLD!”

Me: “Okay, sir, it happens to all of us eventually. Now, how can I help?”

Caller: “I’M OLD, YOU SEE! I’M DISABLED! I HAVE ARTHRITIS AND SCIATICA AND BUNIONS.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear you have those things, sir. Now, please tell me how I can help you this morning.”

Customer: “YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME. I’M OLD AND YOU NEED TO GET THIS SORTED.”

Me: “I listened to everything you’ve said, sir. You’re elderly and you suffer from arthritis and sciatica and bunions. Now, these things understandably cause you pain and would have meant you needed help with something. If you can remember what that ‘something’ was and recall why you might have phoned me up, I can try and help you.”

Customer: “I NEED YOU TO… Oh. I can’t remember. If you remember can you call me?” *click*

Me: *to thin air* “Uh… not without your phone number, I can’t.”

Has One Of Those Genderal Voices

| Wales, UK | Bizarre, Health & Body

(I work in the departmental switchboard, so I field calls. If someone’s on their phone or even logged out, the calls reroute to me/ Normally people are fine with me taking messages.)

Me: “Bore da. Good morning.  [Local Government].”

Customer: “Hello! Is that [Male Colleague]?”

Me: “Nope, [Colleague] is off sick at the moment. If you tell me your query I can direct you to somebody else who may be able to help.”

Customer: “Oh, it IS you [Male Colleague]!”

Me: “Ma’am. I am not [Male Colleague], I am [Female Name] and you’re through to switchboard. What’s your query?”

Customer: “How did your op go, [Male Colleague]? I didn’t realise it was THAT kind of op!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am NOT [Male Colleague]. If you tell me what your call is regarding, perhaps I can help you.”

Customer: *ignoring me* “Cruciate ligament, you said. Well, now we know better. I think [Female Name] is a great choice! Good for you!”

Me: “Ma’am, [Male Colleague] is still on sick. He did not have gender reassignment surgery. I am a different person. And I would like, very much, to help you with your query.”

Customer: “It’s okay. I’ll see you at [Local Pub] on Friday. We can have a chat ‘off the record’ and I’ll bring you my favourite lipstick.” *click*

(All my switchboard colleagues, who’ve only heard my half of the conversation, are staring at me.)

Me: “Yeah, I have no idea either.”

Always Time For A Rhyme

| UK | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Language & Words, Top

(Our county council has online web-forms for people to get in touch.)

Customer Email:

“The winds outside blew and blew
and my bin lid verily flew
in a lickety split
I emailed you quick
to request a brand new one from you”

(Since the customer did not tell us whether it was her recycling or refuse bin that broke in the weather I have to contact her back. It is the first time I have EVER received a request in limerick form, so I decide to phone the lady. Unfortunately, it goes to voicemail.)

Me: *to the voicemail*

“The council received your request
but you leave us a little perplexed
Amidst rhyming hype
forgot ye the type
of the bin-lid you meant to suggest”