No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 10

, , , , , , , | Working | January 9, 2018

(I am a territory salesman for a chemical company. I am sound asleep with my wife at just after 5:00 am and the phone rings beside the bed.)

Me: *groggily answering the phone* “Hello.”

Caller: “Hello, it’s [Caller], from [My Employer] in Toronto calling.”

Me: “Do you know what time it is?”

Caller: “Yes. It’s 8:05.”

Me: “Not in Prince George, it isn’t.”

Caller: *hesitating* “Oh… What do you mean?”

Me: *realizing the caller has no clue how the world works* “Well, you know how the sun comes up in the east and goes down at sunset in the west?”

Caller: *obviously unsure where this is leading* “Oh… Yes?”

Me: *trying to impart just a wee bit of wisdom* “Well, it hasn’t gotten here yet.”

Caller: *sounding really confused* “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, the sun may be up in Toronto, but it will be three more hours before we see it, so it’s only ten after five in Prince George.”

(The caller is either completely unaware, or disregards the fact that she has woken me from a sound sleep and by this time, my wife is sitting up in bed beside me with a very puzzled look on her sleepy face.)

Caller: “Well, while I have you on the line, can you pop by this morning to [Customer] in Prince Rupert and drop a copy of an invoice that they didn’t receive?”

Me: “Well, I can get a copy to [Customer], but it won’t be this morning. Do you realize that Prince Rupert is 500 miles from here, which is a whole day’s drive, one way? Why don’t you just fax a copy, and then I won’t have to do anything until my next trip out west?”

Caller: *sounding shocked and perhaps just starting to realize the enormity of Canada* “Oh, okay. I guess I can do that.”

(Many years later, I sometimes think of that young clerk,and imagine her hanging up the phone and sitting there stunned by the incredible knowledge that the whole world doesn’t operate on Toronto time.)

Related
No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 9
No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 8
No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 7

You Have Been Rejected For This Scam

, , , , | Working | January 8, 2018

(I work from home, so I used to get a lot of scammers and telemarketers on the land line. Ever since the land line phone was canceled, I’ve missed them. Every once in a while, I’ll get them on my cell phone, but the industry seems more disjointed and glitchy than ever. One afternoon, I get a call…)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: *obviously a recording* “Hello! You’ve been pre-approved for a small business loan! Press ‘one’ now to speak with a small business specialist.”

(I press one. The recording surprisingly continues, twice more requesting that I press “one,” so I do so in an attempt to mess with a scammer. Then, the call disconnects after once again stating options for touch tones.)

Me: “I guess they come self-rejecting now.”

Don’t Need X-Ray Vision To See What’s Wrong

, | Healthy | January 7, 2018

(I have requested copies of a recent chest X-ray, as for whatever reason therapist has been unable to receive them. I have decided to just to pay for them, as overall the process is easier and faster. Curious, I decide to look at them once they arrive, and end up calling the department again.)

Me: “I’ve just looked over these X-rays and they aren’t mine.”

Person: “I’ll just put you onto the technician; he usually handles requests.”

Technician: “I doubt you would understand the difference between yourself and another person in terms of an X-ray, so I must disagree. They are yours.”

Me: “Are you looking at them now?”

Technician: “Yes.”

Me: “And you don’t see anything odd, like breasts?”

Technician: “…”

Me: “Or, nipple piercings?”

Technician: “Let me just check that for you.” *mumbles* “Who the h*** has an X-ray with nipple piercings in?!”

Me: “I don’t know, but I trust this matter will be resolved quickly.”

Technician: “Of course. I will ring you back later today.”

(He didn’t ring back, and I ended up ringing up every day for weeks before I could get through to him. He finally, and begrudgingly, admitted that my X-rays had gone missing and I needed to come in for more. I assume he must have discovered they were missing, and decided to just send out someone else’s instead. I was horrified by the whole experience, and had my therapist request I have the X-rays done elsewhere. I submitted a formal complaint, but I don’t know if anything happened as I have put myself at distance from them.)

Drownded In Fake Calls

, , , , , | Right | January 1, 2018

(This happens while covering a break in the electronics department. The phone there is the only portable one in the store, and sometimes new or lazy operators will send phone calls there that don’t belong to that section)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store] electronics. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Hi, yeah, could you transfer me over to the toilet section?”

Me: *suspicious already that the customer sounds like a child* “Unfortunately, we don’t have any phones over there, and I couldn’t transfer you from here. Is there something I can help you with?”

Customer: “Yeah, my toilet broke. Could you tell me which ones you guys sell?”

Me: “Uh. All we carry are toilet seats, actually; we don’t sell toilets.”

Customer: “That’ll work!”

(At this point I am concerned that this isn’t a legitimate call, but I try to play along for a bit in an attempt not to hang up on a customer.)

Me: “I don’t really know anything about toilets, so I can’t really help you.”

Customer: “Well, can I tell you what’s wrong, and then you can see if you can help me?”

Me: “Uh, I can’t really—”

Customer: “So, what happened was I took this giant s***, and when I tried to reach in with my hand to get it, I got stuck, so I had to break it to get free, and now I need a new toilet.”

Me: *sigh* “Oh. Unfortunately, we don’t sell toilets here, so you’ll have to go to [Home Repair Store], or call a plumber.”

Customer: “I did call a plumber! And when he came to help he got stuck, too, and… and he drownded!”

Me: “Okay, hon. I’m going to hang up now, all right?”

Customer: “No, don’t hang up!”

Me: *click* “Well, that’s five minutes I’ll never get back.”

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.)

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