New King Of The “Jerk” Tag

, , , , , , , | Related | April 2, 2020

This happened in my early teens. My house phone was being called dozens of times at every hour for a fortnight. The caller was some poor old lady who spoke only Chinese and was trying to get a hold of her son. She didn’t stop calling, pleading day and night to speak to her son.

My mother tried to explain to her that she had the wrong number, and that she had dementia and needed help, but she could never remember the conversation and would be back to calling and pleading five minutes later. We really wanted to help her, we really did. My mom was slowly piecing together details about her and was going to call for help once she learned who that lady was.

Unfortunately, my dad had other ideas. From the start, he dismissed this poor old lady as some sort of scammer and warned us never to talk to her. After a fortnight, he lost his patience with the whole affair and decided to fix it. He had learned from my mom that the old lady was in her nineties, and thus had probably survived World War Two.

So, one day, after she called yet again, my dad picked up the phone and went to me. He told me to yell a bunch of Japanese swear words into the phone, to someone he assured me was a friend of his and was interested in me learning a third language.

I was self-teaching myself Japanese — mostly from anime, which my dad hates and calls a waste of time — so I was very pleased that he wanted me to demonstrate my skills. I proudly yelled a couple of insults in Japanese into the phone, got a pat on the head and an extra hour of leisure time to watch more anime, and never thought about it for almost a decade.

It was only way later that I found it suspicious that the old lady stopped calling after that. My mom eventually told me what my dad had done, which he quite proudly told her after three days without a call. I’m not saying that it led to their divorce later in the year, but in the immediate aftermath, my mom did start sleeping in a different bedroom. I’m not completely sure he even thinks he did anything wrong, even now. He never understood why my mom cared for a stranger and why she was angry at him.

I really can’t forgive myself for doing that now. I really hope that I did not rekindle that poor old lady’s trauma from the war.

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If You’re Going To Try To Be Sneaky, At Least Be Quiet About It

, , , , | Learning | April 2, 2020

I work in a university admissions office. At our school, potential students schedule calls for a specific time and then anyone who is available at that time “claims” the appointment. I claim a call for 6:00 pm and ring the student right on the dot. Someone, I assume a relative, picks up the phone.

Relative: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi! This is [My Name] from [University]. Is [Student] available?”

Relative: “[STUDENT]!”

I hear some shuffling in the background and then another voice, presumably the student.

Student: “WHAT?”

Relative: “YOU HAVE A CALL!”

Student: “WHO IS IT?”

Relative: “I DON’T KNOW!”

This is followed by some shuffling and incoherent whispering. After a prolonged pause…

Me: “Um… Hello?”

Relative: “Yeah, she’s not here right now.”

Me: “That’s all right. Can you please let her know that [University] is calling about her appointment?”

There was no response, and after a few seconds I just hung up. Really, I get it if you don’t want to talk to spam callers, but we had an appointment to speak at that time. It was also quite easy to hear them since they were both screaming, so I’m not sure why they couldn’t just ask me to call back later. Still, not the weirdest person I’ve spoken to in this job.

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At Least His Sense Of Humor Isn’t Dead, Too

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 1, 2020

We had a relatively new phone number, and once every few weeks, we’d get a call from someone speaking Spanish. My Spanish is “muy malo” (very bad), but I could tell he was looking for José. I’d ask, “Habla Inglés?” but he obviously did not, so I’d hang up.  

Every few weeks, he’d call back looking for José. I suspected we had José’s old phone number and it was on this guy’s speed dial, but he never got around to changing it.

Again, he called, asking for José. In desperation, I faked a cry and said, “José es muerto! José es muerto!”

He let out a loud belly laugh and hung up, and we never heard from him again. I assume this prompted him to update his speed dial.

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The Line Is Busy, Both Phone And Checkout

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2020

(Customer service desk cashiers have to answer every incoming phone call to the store. It’s frustrating because we have a constant flow of customers that we have to still ring out or assist while on the phone with another customer.

On this particular day, our tech department is being run by two guys, both with customers, and a line ten-deep of customers waiting to be helped. There is absolutely no point in patching a call through to them at this point, so either I’ve been taking messages or people have decided to call back later. In-store customers always take precedence over people on the phone.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store] in [Town]. This is [My Name] speaking; how can I help you?”

Caller: “Can I speak to someone in the tech department?”

Me: “I’m sorry, they’re both tied up right now. May I take a message?”

Caller: “No, I’ll call back.”

(I never recommend this, as the tech department tends to be backed up with customers. Each customer takes several minutes to service even if it’s a simple task, some taking far longer, and they are still expected to somehow help customers shopping on the floor. The setup is pretty stupid, honestly.

About an hour later, my manager on duty is standing on the side of my L-shaped service desk looking at paperwork, about two feet away from me when the phone rings. I answer it, delivering my standard speech.

The same lady from the earlier phone call has called back; however, the tech department is still about ten people deep — different people, but still.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but they’re still very busy over there.”

(The lady starts screaming into the phone.)

Caller: “This is ridiculous! Every time I call here I get the same bulls*** about them being too busy to answer the phone! And then no one ever calls back! I am getting sick and tired of calling and calling and calling and never getting an answer!”

Me: “I’m sorry. They are doing their best to help the customers in the store; they can’t answer the phone while—”

Caller: “That’s the same old story! Why can’t they take the time to answer my call?! I’m a customer, too! I deserve help!”

(My manager glances up at this point, making a face like, “What the h*** is all that yelling about?” I reply to the caller calmly but firmly.)

Me: “You don’t need to scream at me, ma’am. I cannot force them to answer the phone, and as I have stated, they are servicing a long line of customers in the store as fast as they can.”


(After a bit of a pause, suddenly much quieter.)

Caller: “I’ll just come in after work.”

(She hangs up.)

Manager: “What the h*** was her problem? Doesn’t she know what busy means?”

(I could have gotten in a lot of trouble with the general manager for talking to a customer like that, but it took me a few years in retail to develop the attitude that I am not a child and I will not be treated like one by management, and I am not a punching bag for customers. The cashier is literally the last person you should yell at when you’re angry about something they have no control over.)

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Unfiltered Story #190881

, , | Unfiltered | March 27, 2020

Our Doctors surgery has recently started texting a reminder of your appointment to you.

After receiving 7 text reminders in a week, i then got a call from them, to cancel as the Doctor wasn’t going to be in that day!