They Have No Closing Arguments

| AB, Canada | Bad Behavior, Time

I do the morning show at a radio station. Because we’re in a small town and have a small staff, we close our offices at noon. I give away tickets to a concert that night, and tell the winner that she has to be at the station before noon to pick up the tickets. She says that she can’t make it by noon, but can be there shortly after noon, and asks that we stay open late to accommodate her. I ask her how late she’ll be, and she says just a few minutes after 12:00…12:15 at the latest. Since I can wait around a few minutes, I say we’ll stay open late for her.

12:15. She’s not here yet. 1:00 pm. She’s not here yet. 2:00. She’s not here yet. 3:00. I’m still waiting for her. I’ve also been at work since four am and hadn’t eaten anything all day. I decide to close up for a few minutes and run across the street to the store to grab something. I come back at 3:10 to find an angry note taped to the door. Sure enough, it’s from our contest winner, calling us a bunch of lying SOBs for saying we’d stay open late for and then not doing so, and calling us various other nasty names.

Ever since then, I’ve made no more exceptions for contest winners who’ll be “just a few minutes late.” If you can’t make it by closing time, tough.

Free Prizes Are Not Their Calling

| USA | Bad Behavior, Popular

(I work the midday shift at a radio station, and we’re doing a “call to win” contest.)

Me: “Hello, [Station]!”

Caller: “What caller am I?”

Me: “You’re number two.”

Caller: “What caller wins?”

Me: “Number seven.”

Caller: “You giving away anything good?”

(I tell them the prize.)

Caller: “Well, f*** that! Who wants that?”

Me: “Someone who doesn’t gripe when getting something for free.”

When Larry Met Crazy

| Mt. Vernon, IL, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

(I am working in the afternoon as a board operator at a local country music station. At the top of every hour they play a five-minute feed from CNN news.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Station Name]. How may i help you today?”

Caller: “I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO LARRY KING!”

Me: “Okay, sir, I’m afraid I cannot do that. We are a—”

Caller: “I KNOW D***-WELL WHAT YOU ARE! LET ME SPEAK TO LARRY KING!”

Me: “I understand, but Larry King doesn’t work here. We only air CNN news, which comes in via an automated service.”

Caller: “YEAH! CNN! THAT’S YOU GUYS! CNN! LARRY KING IS ON CNN! LET ME TALK TO LARRY NOW!”

Me: “Sir, I’m afraid I cannot do that. He is not here in our studio. We are not CNN.”

Caller: “YOUR MANAGER, NOW! YOU’RE FIRED!”

Me: “Okay, please hold.”

(I transfer him to my manager. 10 minutes later…)

Manager: “I just dealt with the most angry man who thinks Larry King works here.”

Me: “I tried to explain to him that we only play CNN news on the top of the hour and that we are not CNN news.”

Manager: “Yeah, I told him the same.”

Me: “So how did you get rid of him?”

Manager: “I told him that Larry King traces all his calls before taking them and he hung up really quickly after that.”

Not As Quick As Lightning

| LA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work at an AM radio station, and we have just suffered a lightning hit at the tower which knocked us off the air. Then the phone rings:)

Listener: “Hey, I don’t hear anything on my radio!”

Me: “Yeah, we got knocked off by lightning.”

Listener: “Well, why don’t you make an announcement?”

Making A Bad Impression

, | Japan | Crazy Requests, Military, Politics

(I am the operations manager of an overseas military TV and radio station. In place of regular commercials, we run locally-made information spots. We get feedback through an email system, mostly complaints about stuff out of our control, such as TV shows and music selections. A few months ago, we got an email from an irate listener complaining about a radio spot advertising the base library, where one of the producers did an imitation of former President George W. Bush. He was livid about the disrespect to our former Commander-In-Chief. I responded professionally, explaining we often use humor in our spots to make the information memorable, and the impression was fairly innocuous. He kept emailing back more irate, insulting military broadcasters, questioning our patriotism, accusing us of communism, etc. Finally, he came to our station to personally confront me. The following exchange occurred in our lobby.)

Irate Marine: “Your excuses are just that! The ‘humor’ of that imitation is offensive and disrespectful! How dare you demean the former president!”

Me: “Well, he didn’t seem to think so.”

Irate Marine: “… What?”

Me: *points to framed picture on the wall* “See that?”

(It’s George W. Bush in our production room laughing with a young Marine.)

Irate Marine: “He came here?”

Me: “Years ago, I’m told. See that Marine in the photo? He’s the one who voiced and produced that spot. That photo was taken while he was playing the commercial for The President. He apparently has a better sense of humor about himself than you do.”

Irate Marine: *walks out the door, mumbling* “Well, it’s STILL disrespectful!”

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