That Moviegoing Didn’t Go Very Far

, , , | Right | February 19, 2021

I answer the phone.

Caller: “Hello, sir, may I have a few moments of your time to ask about your moviegoing experience?”

Me: *Suppressing laughter* “Certainly! Though I should note that the last movie I saw in the theater was either the third Lord of the Rings or Master and Commander.”

Both are about ten years old at this point.

Caller: “Thank you, sir, have a nice day.”

I chuckled for two days.

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Everything Is Legal In New Jersey

, , , , , | Working | January 25, 2021

In my twenty-two years working as a press officer for a large New Jersey city, I spend a lot of time on the phone. Ninety percent of it is important, ten percent pointless, but I have to scoop that device up each and every time it goes off, as it could be anyone from CBS News to the mayor. The latter is more important, obviously.

The ten percent that is pointless can be quite annoying.

Caller #1: “We’d like to come down and assess your roof for renovation!”

I give them the address of City Hall and tell them to come on down right now. The building is, among other things, a National Historic Landmark.

Caller #2: “We’d like to come down and put solar panels on your roof.”

See above.

Caller #3: “We’d like to discuss new informational reciprocating flingles that will hoosenwanger your 50-Gigabyte system and provide for greater centrality for up-end users!”

Me: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Caller #3: “Isn’t this the information office?”

Me:Press information. We write press releases. You want information technology.”

Caller #3: “Oh. Sorry.”

The best one is the fax that comes in saying that we are in danger of being bought out by our nearest competitor. I call the company on the fax to save us from that dire fate.

I take the lead and our entire team groups around a speakerphone as I dial back.

Me: “Hi, we got a fax from you saying that our company is in danger of being bought out. Is that true?”

Speakerphone: “Oh, yes, absolutely. We want to work with you to prevent that.”

Me: “Well, there’s just one problem with that theory. We’re not a business. We’re the city of [City]. Who’s going to buy us out? Pittsburgh? Denver? Edinburgh?”

There’s a long silence from the speakerphone.

Speakerphone: “Uh… that was sent to you in error.”

Me: “You think?”

Speakerphone: “We’ll take you off our list.”

Me: “I think that would be a good idea.”


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Time Is Money, And You Don’t Have Enough

, , , , | Legal | January 14, 2021

I am a paralegal, working in a small office where I also double as the receptionist, which means my work is often interrupted by phone calls. Multitasking and going back and forth between jobs isn’t a problem for me, but the “junk calls” are very annoying.

One phone solicitor calls on a regular basis. At first, I politely decline what they are selling — something about magazine subscriptions, not at all work-related — but they never really take “no” for an answer and keep calling back. Finally, in exasperation, I tell them that my boss bills my time out at $100 per hour with a one-hour minimum, and if they continue to waste my time, we will send them a bill and sue them for it if necessary. I think that will make them finally take us off the list and leave me alone.

Nope! A few weeks later, I get another call.

Me: “I’ve asked you repeatedly not to call here.”

Caller: “Oh, are you the one who said you’d sue us?”  

Me: “Are you kidding me? You have it in front of you that I have asked you not to call and threatened to sue and you’re still calling me!”

Fortunately, that was the last call from them.

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The Best Kind Of Lie Is Actually True

, , , , , | Working | January 1, 2021

I answer the phone to a telemarketer one day and decide to have a little fun.

Telemarketer: “May I speak to the male head of household, please?”

Me: “Oh, sorry, he can’t be disturbed right now. He’s in his cage in the basement, sleeping off the drugs.”

Telemarketer: “…” *Click*

My roommate and I are both female, as are our two cats. The only male resident of the house is our dog, who happened to be in his downstairs kennel recovering from a dental cleaning!

This story is part of our Best Of January 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of January 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of January 2021 roundup!

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Well, They Asked!

, , , | Right | December 31, 2020

My phone rings.

Caller: “Hello, is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Caller: “This is [Caller] from [Vacation Package Company]. How are you doing today?”

Me: “Terrible. I just rehomed my cat and my newborn is in the hospital awaiting surgery. Thanks for calling.”

Caller: “…”

Me: *Click*

I only answered because I thought it might be the hospital.

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