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!)

Knee-Slap Meets Face-Palm

, , , | | Learning | July 10, 2019

(I am an elementary school teacher. I am talking to a third grader and she tells me a joke, so I say:)

Me: “Haha! That’s a knee-slapper.”

Student: “What?”

Me: “A knee-slapper. You know, when something’s funny, you slap your knee?”

(I demonstrate.)

Student: “Um, maybe that’s how they did it in the olden days, but now we just laugh when something is funny.”

Like A Regular Igloo But With Wi-Fi

, , , , , | | Right | July 4, 2019

(I work for a government agency and provide 24/7 support for other agencies. This particular call takes place at 2:00 am.)

Me: “IT, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I need my login password reset.”

Me: “Sure thing. We just need to verify your identity.”

(After verifying the customer’s identity I provide the password.)

Me: “Your password is, ‘Every$boy.’”

Customer: “So that’s E as in ‘igloo,’ right?”

Me: *silence* “Um… Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Okay, got it. Thanks, bye!”

The Biggest Crime Is Thinking Chow Mein Is Japanese

, , , , | | Legal | July 3, 2019

(A Windows scammer had been calling me every ten minutes for the past hour.)

Scammer: “Your Windows server is broken; we need some information to fix it.”

(I panic and start thinking of what to say. I am fed up with this guy and don’t want him to call again.)

Me: “Hiyaah!”

Scammer: “Hello?”

Me: “Hiyaah!”

(I see a restaurant menu on the table, and start listing Chinese menu items in the most garbled voice I can manage.)

Scammer: “What language are you speaking?”

Me: “Chow mein?” *exaggerated, then more garbled gibberish*

Scammer: *in the background* “Help, I think I’ve got Japan… What do I do?”

Background: “Hang up, hang up!”

(I didn’t hear from him again.)

Because Pushing Tires Would Be Silly

, , , , | | Friendly | July 3, 2019

(I’m following a father and son into a nearby mall. I assume they are not Canadian after the following happens. There’s a bilingual sticker on the door in English and French saying, “Pull/Tirez.”)

Son: “Dad, why does it say, ‘Pull tires,’ on the door?”

Father: “I don’t know. They just do things strange up here.”