An Alarming Turn Of Events

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2011

Me: “Thank you for calling [security services].”

Customer: “My keypad keeps beeping and saying low battery. What does that mean?”

(I run through some basic troubleshooting. After about ten minutes, we still can’t find the problem.)

Me: “Well, sir, I’m not exactly sure why your system is doing this. I’ll be happy to send a technician out there for you.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. By the way, my keypad seems to be on fire. Is that a bad thing?”

Me: “Yes, sir. That is really bad. Do you want me to call the fire department?”

Customer: “Oh, no. I don’t think that’s necessary, do you?”

Me: “Well, the fire may spread up the wall if it doesn’t get put out. I’d recommend spraying it with a fire extinguisher if you don’t want the fire department to come out.”

Customer: “I can’t do that!”

Me: “Why not? Do you not have a fire extinguisher?”

Customer: “No, I do! But I don’t want to be liable for damaging the alarm system by putting out the fire!”

Me: “Sir, I’m going to just hang up now and call the fire department. I’d really recommend you go outside and wait for them.”

Customer: “You know, I don’t understand why you think this is such a big deal, young lady!”

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Articulated Truck Drivers Aren’t Articulate

, , , | Right | October 25, 2010

(A truck driver walks up to the desk and stares at the wall behind me.)

Me: “Can… I help you?”

Driver: “Yeaaaaa…” *waits ten seconds, looks behind him, looks back at me, waits another five seconds* “I don’t have my shipment numbers.”

Me: “Well, where are they?”

Driver: “They’re in the truck.”

Me: “They’re in the truck?”

Driver: “Yup.”

Me: “So you left the truck with the numbers inside, walked all the way through the property, and up to my desk to tell me you left the numbers in the truck?”

Driver: “Yeaaaaaaa.” *stares at the wall again*

Me: “You want to go get them?”

Driver: “Get what?”

Me: “Are you filming this?”

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Pray None Of Her Patients Read This

, , , , | Right | April 29, 2010

(I am installing a home security system for a new customer. All customers require a password that the monitoring service uses to verify their identity when the alarm is tripped.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am. If your alarm is ever tripped, our monitoring service will call the house to make sure help is needed. We need you to select a password for when they call.”

Customer: “Well, what password should I select?”

Me: “It just needs to be something easy to remember.”

Customer: “Can you suggest something?”

Me: “Well, what do you do for a living?”

Customer: “I’m a nurse.”

Me: “Okay, your password could be ‘Nurse’.”

Customer: “Hmm, I don’t know if I could remember that.”

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Lack Of Common Sense Can Get you Fired

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2010

(We monitor intruder and fire/smoke alarms. After activation, all fire/smoke alarms need to be manually restored by a user code.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from [Company] calling. Am I speaking with [Customer]?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “We had a smoke alarm activation earlier today, and as per the instructions on your file we advised the fire service to attend. They found nothing wrong, but I’m calling to advise you that the smoke alarm needs to be reset.”

Customer: “You had a smoke alarm?”

Me: “That’s right.”

Customer: “And you sent the fire service?”

Me: “That’s right.”

Customer: “What the h*** did you do that for?”

Me: “Because those are the instructions we have on file, sir.”

Customer: “You should have sent a patrol! This is ridiculous!”

(Note that standard patrol response time is around 45 minutes, depending on various factors including traffic.)

Me: “Sir, if there was a confirmed fire on site, there wouldn’t be much a patrol could do.”

Customer: “They could have called the fire service!”

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Only Listening To Some Random Words

, , , | Right | November 11, 2009

(I work airport security. The metal detectors choose random people for additional screening. On the screen, it will tell us if it’s an actual alarm or random. The alert beep sounds almost identical to the metal alarm one. A lady walks through and the machine chooses her for random screening.)

Me: “Hello, bonjour, miss. You’ve been chosen for additional screening.”

Lady: *not listening* “Oh, I don’t think I have any metal.”

Me: “No, the metal detector chose you for random screening.”

Lady: *still not listening* “I don’t think it’s my shoes; I’ve worn them through before.”

Me: “No, it’s random.”

Lady: *still not listening* “I don’t have anything in my pockets.”

Me: “It’s random selection.”

Lady: “Maybe if I try—” *suddenly stops, clueing in* “Oh! Maybe if I listened; I’d like the scanner, please!”

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