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Trial By Redial

| England, UK | Extra Stupid, Popular, Technology

(Apparently I have a “posh” phone voice, so I’m tasked with answering the phone if the receptionist is out.)

Me: “Good morning, this is [My Name] at [Company]. How can I assist?”

Caller: “Yes, hello. Do you have any two-by-four [wood]?”

Me: “Sorry, I think you have the wrong number. This is a laboratory company. You have called [Company].”

Caller: *an older voice answers* “Oh, is this not [Lumber Yard]?”

Me: “No, this is [Company]. We don’t have anything to do with lumber.”

Caller: “Oh, err, sorry.” *hangs up*

(My MD gives me the strangest look, shakes his head before getting back to work. The phone rings again.)

Me: “Good morning, this is [My Name] at [Company]. How can I assist?”

Caller: “Can I speak to [Name that doesn’t work here]?”

Me: “Sorry, nobody works at [Company] by that name.”

Caller: “Is this [Lumber Yard]?”

Me: “No, this is [Company].”

Caller: *click*

(The phone rings instantly.)

Me: “Okay, look. This is still [My Name], still at [Company]. You must have just hit redial.”

Caller: “Well of course I did, I was trying to reach [Company] lumber.”

Me: “Yes, I understand, but very clearly you. Need. To ring. A. different. Number.”

Caller: *click*

(I start to feel bad, even concerned that I might get in trouble, as my MD is quite strict and a professional, when… the phone rings again, same number.)

MD: *shouting from the other side of the office* “Is that the same guy?”

(I nod.)

MD: *answering the phone* “Yes… Yes… No, no problem… Any time… Of course… Bye.”

Me: *confused* “I could of sworn that was—”

MD: “Oh, it was. He is now expecting a lorry of wood at two o’clock tomorrow.”

(I forgot about it until the next day. The receptionist had a very confusing phone call to deal with.)

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Treasure These Phone Calls

| Minneapolis, MN, USA | Money

(I work in the sales and service department for a publishing company that specializes in religious curriculum. We often get calls from well-meaning but untrained church ladies who volunteer at their church when no one else will, in positions they have no right working at.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How may I help you?”

Church Lady: “Yes, I am the new treasurer at [Church] and the statement you sent us makes no sense whatsoever. Can you help me?”

Me: “Okay, I’ll be more than happy to help you. What is your question?”

Church Lady: “I don’t understand what it means on the bottom, where it says ‘Dollar sign seven-five-period-four-five.’”

Me: “Um… that is the amount your church owes. $75.45.”

Church Lady: “Oh, I guess I’ve just never seen it written like that before.”

Has A Limited Streetview

| AZ, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Technology

(I work as a salesman selling billboards all over the state, and have both national and local clients. I get a phone call on my cell phone.)

Me: “Hello, you’ve reached [My Name]!    ”

Client: “Hello, [My Name]; it’s [Client] from [His Business]. I bought a board from you?”

Me: “Oh, yes! I believe it was installed last Monday and looks just great. I passed by it the other day. What’s going on?”

Client: “Well, I’m looking at the board right now and it doesn’t have my design on it!”

Me: *surprised, because I had just passed it the day before and it was there* “What do you mean? Is there another advertisement on there?”

Client: *getting more mad* “Yes! I thought I was paying to be up there for three months!”

Me: “Hold on, [Client]. I’ll go out there right now and take a look!”

(I proceed to drive an hour from the office to go to the billboard. It’s located on a strip of highway between two cities, so there is nothing but desert around it. When I get there, I see that the client’s ad is up. I give him a call.)

Me: “Hi, [Client], I’m standing here in front of the board and your advertisement is up!”

Client: “That’s b******t! I’m looking at it right now too, and it’s for [Other Advertiser]!”

Me: “…Where are you? Are you at the right board? I don’t see you here.”

Client: “Well, of course I’m not there! I’m at my store, looking at it on [Website commonly used to view streets]!”

Me: *trying hard not to be rude* “[Client], [Website] runs that service, not [My Company], and they don’t always update the images. What you’re seeing is an old advertiser. I promise you, I’m standing right here. I’ll take a picture with my phone and email it to you.”

Client: “You better not be lying, because I’ll sue you for wrongful advertisement!”

(I sent him a photo with his advertisement up, as well as a photo of me with the board in the background. He then renewed his contract with us for another year!)

Universally Speaking

, | UK | Extra Stupid, School, Technology

(I work on a sales chat service for a large IT company. Customers come through and ask us questions about products, prices, etc. We offer a discount for students so this is something we get asked on a lot.)

Customer: “I would like to buy a computer. How much is it with the education discount?”

Me: “I’d be happy to help with that! If you can let me know where you’re studying and which computer it is you’re looking to purchase then I can certainly check if there is a discount available on that for you.”

Customer: “[University], [model of computer].”

Me: “Perfect, thanks! With your discount, that model would cost you £945.60. Are you happy that this is the best computer for your needs?”

Customer: “I don’t know. I’m working in a budget. Is there a cheaper option?”

Me: “What sort of budget did you have in mind?”

Customer: “£1000.”

Me: “Well, the model above does cost less than £1000, so it does come in under your budget.”

Customer: “Okay. This model will be fine, then.”

Me: “Are you sure that this model would be suitable for your university work?”

Customer: “I don’t know. What can I not do on this computer that I can do on another?”

Me: “Well, that’s a very difficult question to answer. If you can tell me what sort or stuff you’ll be using it for, I’d be happy to let you know if it’s suitable.”

Customer: “Is [lower spec model] better?”

Me: “Again, it really depends on what you will be using it for.”

Customer: “University work.”

Me: “Okay, and what sort of thing would that involve?”

Customer: “Using software for assignments.”

Me: “Can you clarify what sort of software you would be using?”

Customer: “I don’t know. Things for university.”

(I gave up asking at that point and wished him a nice day.)

This Customer Is Phoney

| Leeds, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers, Technology

(It’s the early 2000s, and my dad and I are at my grandma’s house. We see a salesman making his way around the street, and my dad says he’ll deal with him when he gets to us.)

Salesman: “Hello, sir! I’d just like to talk to you about your telephone service.”

Dad: “Sorry, I don’t believe in phones.”

Salesman: “You… don’t believe in phones?”

Dad: “No, I don’t. I don’t think they’ll ever catch on.”

(At this point, I’m not sure if the salesman is playing along or genuinely believes him.)

Salesman: “Oh, but sir! Telephones are very popular now! Everybody uses them! Some people even have small ones they can carry around with them!”

Dad: “That sounds ridiculous! Nope. Sorry, I’m not interested. Goodbye!”

(He then returned inside, and picked up one of his three mobile phones to send a text message.)

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