Take A Hike, Mom

, , , , | Related | May 31, 2020

I am not athletic in the slightest. I’m very overweight from overeating and minimal exercise. So, when I call my mother to tell her I spent the day hiking with friends, she’s skeptical. No matter how many anecdotes or landmarks I tell her about, she just doesn’t accept that I did something so physical for hours.

Me: *Exasperated* “And then I threw up from exertion!”

Mom: “Okay, now I believe you.”

I just laughed.

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We Are Open, But Your Brain is Closed

, , , | Right | May 19, 2020

I work in a retail store that has been in the same location for the last thirty years.

Me: “Hello, [Company], [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?

Caller: “Hi. I was just wondering if [My Store’s Location] still exists?”

Me: “You know you are calling [My Store’s Location].”

Caller: “So, you are open?”

Me: “Yes, unfortunately, we are.”

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Dial M For “Moron”

, , , , | Right | May 18, 2020

Me: “Good afternoon, [Charity]; how can I help you?”

Client: “I just wanted to check if you were on the same phone number that you used to be on.”

Me: “Well, we haven’t changed our phone number, and the number is the one you dialed.”

Client: “Oh, well, that’s fine, then.” *Click*

I was left there scratching my head.

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Sometimes Coworkers Need A Mute Button

, , , , | Working | May 14, 2020

At work, we’re having a huge meeting that includes both people in a large meeting room and people calling in from other locations. As usually happens with this sort of thing, the speakerphone unit in the meeting room picks up different speakers with varying levels of volume and clarity.

At one point, the current speaker is rather far from the phone, and somebody decides they need to discuss a previous point with a whispered side-conversation directly over the speakerphone!

I break in to say, “Sorry to interrupt, but when you’re having a side-conversation near the phone, we can’t hear anything the speaker is saying.”

A few of the people on the call-in lines agree with my comment, and the whisperers apologize — and then proceed to have their whispered conversation anyway, solving the problem by putting the speakerphone on mute while they’re whispering!

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These Multiple Callings Show It’s Not Their Calling

, , , , , | Right | May 12, 2020

I’ve worked at home for many years. I realize a lot of people suddenly find themselves working from home now. Apparently, it is not as easy as it looks.

The calls I’ve been getting lately are these:

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling.”

Caller #1: “Hi, this is—” *Noise, noise, noise*

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m having trouble hearing you. Could you repeat that?”

I just hear more noise.

Me: “I’m sorry. I just can’t hear you. Is the TV on perhaps? Could it be turned down?”


Me: “Sir, I can hear that you’re shouting now. It would be easier if there were just less background noise.”

Cue more fumbling sounds.

Caller #1: “Okay. I turned off the TV and took my phone off speaker. Can you hear me now?”

Me: “Yes. Thank you. What can I help you with today?”

Next call:

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling.”

Caller #2: “Hello, we’d like to start service at—” *Ear-piercing whistle*

Me: “Sorry, I didn’t catch that. Could you please repeat?”

Caller #2: “Oh, yeah, that’s my parrot. He likes to sit with me—”

There is another ear-piercing whistle.

Caller #2: “—now that I’m home.”

Yet another whistle.

Me: “I’m afraid I will not be able to continue this call with that sort of interruption. Can the bird sit further from the phone until we finish, please?”

Next call:

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling.”

Caller #3: “Oh, yeah, hey, so our office needs— HEY! CUT IT OUT! —service. The address is—”

He is drowned out by the sound of shouting children, apparently sixty or seventy of them.

Me: “Okay. So, you said the address was [address]. Is that correct?”

Caller #3: “Yeah. No one’s there, though. Can we still get service?”

Me: “We will need someone to meet the technician.”

Caller #3: “Well, we’re supposed to work from home.”

The mob of children has now apparently taken hostages.

Me: “I understand. But we will need someone to meet the technician.”

Caller #3: “You can’t just come?”

Me: “Is the door unlocked?”

Caller #3: “I don’t think so.”

There may be murders taking place in the background at this point.

Me: “Then, no. We can’t just come. We need to get inside the building.”

Caller #3: “You don’t have a key?”

It suddenly gets silent on her end. Maybe they are as floored by the question as I am.

Me: “No, ma’am. We don’t have a key.”

Caller #3: “Oh, okay. I’ll have to ask about this. I’ll call you back.”

Next call:

Me: “Thanks for calling.”


Me: “Hello, you’ve reached—”


Me: “Hello?”


I hang up. The phone rings again.

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling.”


I sit there and just wait.


Voice In Background: “I don’t know why they won’t answer. Maybe they are closed.”

Another Voice: “They can’t be closed.”


Me: “HELLO!”


Voice In Background: “We have to reach them today. Maybe we should email.”

Another Voice: “That’s a good idea. Maybe they are working from home, too.”

Next call:

Me: “Thanks for calling.”

Caller #5: “Hi, I need to pay our bill. Can I do that by phone?”

Me: “Absolutely. What’s the address of the account?”

Caller #5: “Unfortunately, I don’t have the account number. I’m at home instead of the office. I have limited access to things. Can you look it up by the name or address?”

Me: “Yes. The address is easiest.”

Caller #5: “Great, it is [address]. I don’t have the actual bill. I’m at home instead of the office. I have limited access to things. Is there a way I can look up the info online or could you email it to me?”

I check the account. All bills have been paid online. The account is linked to a specific email address.

Me: “Yes. If you answer a couple of questions, I can give you access to the account.”

Caller #5: “My email address is [email address I have on file].”

Me: “Oh, that is actually the email address we have in the system. I can resend the login information to that email.”

Caller #5: “I have that email. It was sent to my office. I need it sent to my home, though, because I am working from home for the foreseeable future.”

I pause.

Me: “All right. I’ll resend that to you now. Would you like to pay by phone or wait until you have logged into your account?”

Caller #5: “I’d better pay by phone. I’m at home instead of the office. I have limited access to things.”

Me: “By phone it is.”

The phone rings at 9:45 pm, 9:50 pm, 9:52 pm, and  9:58 pm. I am worried it might be one of my adult children calling from other than their own phone.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller #6: “Isn’t this [Company]?”

Me: “It is from 8:00 to 5:00.”

Caller #6: “Well, I’m working from home so I work the hours I want.”

Me: “Okay, well, I have closed down my office for the day. I will have it back up by 8:00 tomorrow morning.”

Caller #6: “Yeah, that doesn’t work for me. I need to see about service.”

Me: “I’ll be happy to help you tomorrow between 8:00 and 5:00. Good night.”

I hung up, and dialed into the system to unroll the phones for the first time in years

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