A Towering Problem

, , , , , | Right | July 2, 2019

(I work for a television station. On rare occasions, we have to go off the air to repair our tower. It happens less than once per year. We’ve been off the air for an hour when the phone rings.)

Me: “[Channel Station], how may I direct your call?”

Viewer: “Did you know that you’re off the air right now?”

Me: “Yes, we have a crew on our tower right now to make repairs. The power is cut while they’re on the tower. We should be back on the air in an hour or two.”

Viewer: “But I’m missing my show.”

Me: “We’re working to get back on the air. Shouldn’t be much longer.”

Viewer: “Why can’t they work at night?”

Me: “They need to see what they’re working on.”

Viewer: “Why can’t they use flashlights?”

Me: “It’s not safe to have anyone climb the tower at night.”

Viewer: “Why do you have to turn the power off to make repairs?”

Me: “It’s to prevent our crew from being electrocuted.”

(Silence.)

Me: “Thank you for watching. Do you have any more questions?”

(They hung up.)

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Blue Screen Is Caused By Lack Of Green

, , , | Right | December 6, 2018

(Before my recent retirement, I spent about three decades at a local TV station as an engineer. Viewer calls concerning reception problems usually get transferred to the engineering department. I take this call one day from a very nice, older lady.)

Caller: “Hello. Are you the engineer?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, how can I help you?”

Caller: “I’m trying to watch your station, but all I see is a blue screen and no sound.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, so that I can narrow the problem down, are you watching us over the air with an antenna, or are you a subscriber to one of the cable or satellite companies?”

Caller: “I watch over [Cable Company].”

Me: “Okay. I’m looking at a TV set connected to an antenna, and our signal is fine there, so let me check with [Cable Company] and see if they’re having problems.”

(Fifteen or twenty minutes later, after a call to the cable provider, I call the lady back.)

Me: “Ma’am, this is [My Name] at [TV Station].”

Caller: “Oh, I’m so glad you called back. I found out what the problem was!”

Me: “Well, that’s great, ma’am. What was it?”

Caller: “I realized I hadn’t paid my cable bill in three months; they cut me off!”

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Captioning Live Shows Is A Lottery

, , | Right | August 27, 2018

(I work for a television company, providing captioning for the deaf. We have two types of captions: live — for live programmes like sport, news, etc. — and file — for pre-recorded programmes like soap operas, drama, etc. The people who press the buttons to make programmes get on your TV are from a department called Playout. The phone rings.)

Me: “Captioning, how can I help?”

Playout: “Hello there. I’m just calling to ask about the lottery results programme this evening.”

Me: “Yes, how can I help?”

Playout: “Can you tell me if this programme is live or pre-recorded?”

Me: “If the lottery results were pre-recorded, pal, I wouldn’t be here to answer the phone.”

Playout: “Oh, um, yes… Thanks. Bye!”

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Totally Estúpido! Part 4

, , , | Right | March 13, 2018

(I work at a TV station, and I am answering the Closed Captioning issues phone.)

Me: “Hello, Master Control.”

Viewer: “Why aren’t the captions in English?”

(I check the closed captioning against the dialogue being spoken.)

Me: “Oh, the captioning is in Spanish because they’re speaking Spanish.”

Viewer: “Well, why isn’t it translating it into English?”

Me: “That’s not what closed captioning is for. It’s for the deaf.”

Viewer: “Well, can’t you make it be in English?”

Me: “No, I can’t. Again, that’s not what captioning is for. It’s so the deaf—”

Viewer: “F***ers.” *click*

Related:
Totally Estupido, Part 3
Totally Estupido, Part 2
Totally Estupido

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Fixing For Something Else

, , , , | Right | February 9, 2018

(I’m working the security gatehouse at a TV production studio. A “supporting artist” for a new TV show walks up to the metal pedestrian exit gate, presses the release button, and waits. This is a metal gate with no electronic parts, plainly not automatic.)

Me: *leaning out* “Hi there! You need to pull the gate open after you press the release button, please.”

Extra: “It’s not working!” *points at the gate*

Me: “I’m sorry; it’s not automatic. It’s a door you have to pull open yourself.”

Extra: *thumping the release button* “It’s not working. Look!”

(I sigh, walk outside, move her gently aside, push the button, and pull the gate open for her.)

Me: “See? You just push the button, then pull the gate.”

(She walks through to leave, then turns around angrily.)

Extra: “It’s broken! You should get that fixed!”

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