Can’t Credit Them With Any Military Intelligence

, , , , , | Friendly | December 30, 2017

(Our home number is really close to a number that Fort Leonard Wood has. About once or twice a month we get a call for them. I am 16 or 17 when I get this call at 7:00 am.)

Me: *mostly asleep* “Hello.”

Caller: “Yes, this is [Military Rank] [Caller]. I’m at the St. Louis airport. When is someone going to pick me up?”

Me: *silence*

Caller: “Hello?”

Me: “I’m sorry; you’ve gotten the wrong number.”

Caller: “Isn’t this [phone number]?”

Me: “Yes, but I’m a teenager in [Hometown], Missouri. I have nothing to do with Fort Leonard Wood.”

Caller: “Where the heck is [Hometown]?”

Me: “A small town in the middle of Missouri.”

Caller: “So, you don’t know who is going to pick me up?”

(My parents and I gave many people a geography lesson.)

A Hair-Curling Mystery

, , , | Right | December 18, 2017

(I am working the cosmetics department on a very slow Sunday morning. Every aisle has been straightened, the counters have been wiped, the paperwork is finished, and I am desperate for something to do. I resort to the aisle that shares both feminine hygiene and hair accessories, double-checking that every hair curler and straightener is on the correct peg, when I notice something on the bottom shelf. It’s a cell phone. It’s small, and a cheaper model than what most people carry, but it is still someone’s phone. The whole department is empty, so I shrug and turn it on. I’m greeted with a rather gross cartoon background, and an obnoxious set of alert sounds. It wails when it receives a text, and it whooshes when I scroll. If I had to guess, it is probably the phone of a 10- to 14-year-old boy. I get an alert that says only five-percent battery remains, in addition to the awful singing and wailing it will not stop making because of the incoming texts. I turn the volume off and eventually am able to scribble out the phone number listed under the contact name “Dad.”)

Me: *takes the phone and the contact number back to the girl working customer service* “Hey, I don’t know how or why, but I think some 12-year-old boy left his phone by the hair curlers in fem-hy.”

Coworker #1: “In feminine hygiene? And it’s a boy’s phone?”

Me: “Judging from the background and the sounds it makes, yeah. No older than 14, I’m guessing.”

Coworker #2: “Who forgets their phone at [Store]? Where was it?”

Me: “It was just sitting on the bottom shelf by the hair curlers, turned off. It has no battery left; maybe it’s been there all night.”

(Meanwhile, [Coworker #1] has dialed the contact number and speaks up.)

Coworker #1: “Hi, this is [Coworker #1] calling from [Store]. We recently found a cell phone in our feminine hygiene aisle, and this was the contact listed under ‘Dad.'”

(It starts off normally, and then she starts making faces, having to repeat herself several times. The person on the other end makes her slowly spell out her own name, the department she is in, and the phone number for the store multiple times. Eventually, gratefully, she hangs up.)

Coworker #1: “Oh, my God, that guy was not with it. He’s like, ‘What’s your name?’ ‘[Coworker #1].’ ‘[Slightly Similar Name]?’ ‘[Coworker #1]!’ ‘What store are you at?’ ‘[Store].’ ‘[Incorrect Store Name]?’ ‘[Store]!’ And then, to top it all off, I go to hang up and he’s like, ‘All right, I’ll send him up there! By the way, he’s single!'”

Me: “The dude’s trying to get you with his 14-year-old kid? How old does he think you are?!”

(I figure “sending his kid” means the boy will have to ride his bike back to the store. I eventually end up at a different department, talking to the cashier who will be doing my break soon. A tall, skinny man in his late 20s or early 30s walks in and approaches the counter. He has short hair, a scraggly beard, teeth that jut out at all different angles, and is not particularly clean. He definitely doesn’t look like he’s totally with it.)

Customer: “Do you have my phone?”

Coworker #3: “Did you lose it?”

Me: *putting it together* “It’s back at customer service.”

Customer: “Oh, oh, thank you.”

(He walks off and I make it back to customer service to see how it went.)

Me: “How many times did you tell the dad to come to customer service? He ended up asking the front registers for his phone.”

Coworker #1: “That wasn’t the dad.”

Me: “WHAT!?”

Coworker #1: “Yup. He went on about how happy he was I had found his phone, how he couldn’t believe he lost it, and bless my heart, and whatnot.”

Me: “I swear to God, I thought that was a child’s phone. You should have heard the sounds it made.”

Coworker #1: “I’m still trying to get over the fact that his dad wanted to hook me up with him.”

(We never did discover why this short-haired man in his 30s came to lose his very childish cell phone by the hair curlers in the feminine hygiene aisle. We’re pretty sure why he’s still single, though.)

If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit…

, , , , , | Right | December 17, 2017

(I work in a company that sells books, furniture, stationery, and other supplies to schools. The office I work in has several phones, but our direct numbers are not given out anywhere, and all calls come to us through the receptionist. One day, one of our phones starts ringing with the ringtone that means it’s an external call.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] at [Company]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, I have a question about your footwear selection.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I think you have the wrong number.”

Caller: “The what?”

Me: “The wrong number. You’ve called the wrong place. We don’t sell footwear.”

Caller: “Well… What do you do?”

Me: “We sell supplies for schools, like books, classroom furniture, that sort of thing.”

Caller: “Do you sell school uniforms?”

Me: “No.”

Caller: “Shoes are part of uniforms, so you must sell footwear.”

Me: “We don’t sell uniforms.”

Caller: “Can you just check?”

Me: “Check what?”

Caller: “Can you just check with somebody else to make sure you don’t sell shoes? I just have a question about your sizing.”

Me: “I’m sorry; you have the wrong number. Please check the number for the company you wanted and try calling them again.”

(I hung up the phone, and relayed the story to my colleagues, who got a laugh out of it. Unfortunately, one of the other phones in the office started ringing, again with the external call ringtone, and we remembered that all the phones in our office, and the other large office on the same floor of the building, have consecutive numbers. The guy called eleven phones in our building to ask about shoe sizes before he either got the point, or reached the end of the phone number sequence!)

The Lights Are Off But Someone’s Home

, , , , , | Friendly | December 12, 2017

(When I move to St. Petersburg and get a phone number [in the days of all land lines], the number I receive has previously been that of an electrical contractor. I receive many calls from people looking to contact them. I usually just say that they no longer have this number, and I don’t know if they are still in business, and then hang up. But late one night, nearly midnight, I get a call from what is obviously an elderly lady. I go through my usual spiel, but before I can hang up, she becomes so obviously distressed that I continue to talk with her.)

Her: “Oh, dear. I don’t know what to do.”

Me: “About what?”

Her: “None of my lights are working.” *I immediately suspect a power outage.*

Me: “So, why are you trying to call the electrical contractor?”

Her: “They did work for me last year, and I thought they could help.”

Me: “I see. Well, your area is probably just having a power outage.”

Her: “What should I do?”

(At this point I suspect she’s one of those widows that had a husband take care of everything for her, and she genuinely doesn’t know what to do.)

Me: “Can you look outside and see if anyone else has lights on?”

Her: “Yes, I can see outside. No lights anywhere.”

Me: “Almost certainly a power outage. I have a phone number for you to call. Do you have a flashlight and something to write on and with?”

Her: “Yes.”

(I then told her the local power company’s outage number [brief outages were so common that I had the number memorized], and told her that she’d get a recording asking her to leave her address and phone number. I explained that they monitored the incoming recordings, and if she was the first in her area to call, that she’d be the reason everyone in her area got their power back, because her call would be the one to let the power company know to get working on the issue. She seemed happy about that [neighborhood savior], and bid me goodnight, and hung up. She was pleasant, but she also convinced me to make sure that any wife I had [I was single at the time] would know how to deal with things like that.)

We Do Not Cover Crazy Girlfriends

, , , , , , | Romantic | December 12, 2017

(I answer the phone in our office as part of my daily duties. Every once in a while, we get a call in this vein:)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Office], a part of [Company]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I need to know who you think you are, b****!”

Me: “Excuse me?”


Me: “I’m sorry. You might have a wrong number. This is an [Office] agency. We sell and administer insurance products from [Company].”

Caller: “Oh, don’t give me that s***. You’re trying to mess with my man. This number comes up on his call list every day for a week. Sometimes more than once! Who are you, and what are you doing with my man?”

Me: “Well, does he have one of our products? Perhaps we’re working with him regarding his coverage.”

Caller: “No! I know you’re just trying to steal my man! And if you call him again, I will find you!”

Me: “We are located on [Street]. Look for the [Company] sign that says [Office]. We sell coverage for homes and vehicles, as well as life and financial products.”

Caller: *hangs up*

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