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Sometimes Work Follows You Home, And Sometimes You Take It With You

, , , , , , , | Working | June 6, 2022

About ten years ago, I worked at a bookshop. There was going to be a changeover with the website, so I created a very simple placeholder webpage that listed the contact details for the store. I double-checked all the contact details and, satisfied it was correct, put the page online.

The next day, I received a call while at home.

Me: *Answering on autopilot* “Hello, [Bookshop]. How can I help you?”

As I spoke, I realised what I had done and readied myself for an explanation.

Caller: “Ah, yes, hello. Can you tell me if you have [Book] in stock?”

Me: “Uh… of course! However, can you please call this number, instead?” *Gives the actual store number* “I’m afraid the number on the website isn’t for the shop front.”

Caller: *Slightly confused* “Okay… Thanks!”

After the call ended, I immediately contacted my colleague, who managed to update the site. Somehow, in checking the contact details, I hadn’t noticed that I’d entered my personal address and landline instead of the bookshop’s! In fairness, however, they were on the same road and shared an area code.

Thankfully, there were no other calls to my home number… and I never answered the phone in the same way again!

Silence Is Golden

, , , , | Right | May 25, 2022

It’s Armistice Day, and like the rest of the country, our little charity is observing two minutes of silence in honour of the fallen. Several of us are working in the kitchen at the time and have stopped for the silence together. After roughly a minute, the quiet is broken by the sound of a bell ringing throughout the site, intended to alert to the phone ringing if no-one is in the office. I share a surprised look with one of the other volunteers but try to ignore it because the office on the other side of the site from us and I know our administrator is there today.

It just keeps ringing, all the way through the remaining minute of silence. A few seconds after the silence concludes, the ringing ends and we all get back to our duties.

During our lunch break, I head over to the office for a chat with the admin, the topic of the caller quickly comes up, and she tells me what happened. Sure enough, she had been there and remained observing the silence while the phone rang away. Our admin is a straight-talking, takes-no-crap-from-anybody kind of lady who lost several great-granduncles in World War I, so naturally, this didn’t go down well with her. Once it concluded, she picked up the phone to hear an older, huffy-sounding woman on the other end. Unfortunately for her, our admin also has a good temper and a sense of timekeeping.

Admin: “Good morning, [Charity] helpline.”

Caller: “Well, it’s about time. I thought I was going to go to an answering machine with how long you were taking!”

Admin: “I’m sorry for the delay in answering. I was observing the two minutes silence.”

Caller: “Oh… OH! I’m so sorry! I had completely lost track of time!”

The caller was much more polite after that, and the admin was able to help them with their concern. At least they managed to give us volunteers a decent story to share that day!

You Could Start The Call With “Hail, Satan!” And They Wouldn’t Hear It

, , , , | Right | May 25, 2022

I work in a small company that isn’t a chain store, fielding calls.

Me: “[Company #1].”

Caller: “[Company #2] transferred me here; they said you would have all of my information.”

I’m confused, because our store doesn’t have the ability to transfer calls, and [Company #2] is a completely different business, so there is no way for us to be on a network where they could be transferred.

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s not the case. [Company #2] and [Company #1] are not affiliated. Could I have your name?”

Caller: “You should have it! It’s in the system.”

Me: “Well, what are you calling about?”

The caller mentions a random issue we don’t handle: think calling a hardware store for a return on a prom dress kind of difference.

Me: “I think you have the wrong number, ma’am.”

Caller: “No, I don’t. I called [Company #2] and they told me to call here.”

So, first, she was transferred, now she was told to call here, and a completely different business said that we would automatically know everything? I get the feeling I’m on a prank call but do my best to keep professional.

Me: “I’m afraid we can’t handle that issue. This isn’t [Company #2]; this is [Company #1].”

Caller: “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO, YOU B****?”

Me: “I did, twice; at the beginning of this call.”

Caller: “Liar!” *Clicks*

The majority of my employed life has firmly instilled the belief that people are nitwits and nobody listens to a thing you say if you’re on the other side of the counter.

Autocorrect Has Daddy Issues

, , , , , | Related | May 16, 2022

Years ago, when my gramps was sick with a cold, my nan messaged my mum regarding an upcoming visit.

Nan: “Gramps has a cold. Maybe we should reschedule. He will be better soon.”

My mum tried to reply:

Mum: “No problem. I hope he does.”

But autocorrect changed her message to:

Mum: “No problem. I hope he dies.”

Luckily, our family has a good sense of humour. It’s been an ongoing joke for years.

You Got The Wrongest Number, Part 10

, , , , , | Right | May 12, 2022

It’s the early 1990s, when local telephone companies are still a thing and they charge extra for caller ID — plus you need a compatible phone. I’ve been working nights for several years. I get a phone call one day from a child asking for one of their friends. I let them know they have the wrong number. They refuse to believe that they have the wrong number and start verbally abusing me.

This leads to this kid and other kids prank calling me every few days, using foul language after waking me. I call the phone company.

Me: “I’m getting prank calls from some kids using profanity and harassing me. I’m a day-sleeper so this is a real problem. Can you give me the number they’re calling from so I can talk to a parent?”

Operator: “I can’t give you the number, but I can call the account holder. Let me call you back.”

After about twenty minutes, I get a call from the operator. 

Operator: “I spoke to the mother. She works nights, too. She’s been asleep while the kids are making the calls.” *Laughs* “I don’t think you will get any more calls from them.”

And I didn’t. But I would have loved to see the look on the kids’ faces when they had to wake Mom up and tell her that Ma Bell Security was on the line. And I would have really loved to hear what she said to the kids!

You Got The Wrongest Number, Part 9
You Got The Wrongest Number, Part 8
You Got The Wrongest Number, Part 7
The Wrongest Number Got You
The Wrongest Reply To The Wrong Number