The Next Call Should Be To A Social Worker

, , , , | Right | April 9, 2021

I work at a small independent appliance store. All of us staff tend to do a bit of everything, sales, installs, etc.

An elderly lady phones and wants to replace her old cooker and kettle. I try to get the information regarding the size of the old one in order to find a suitable replacement, but she doesn’t really know. I take her details and it turns out we have another delivery near her that day. We agree to send a guy around to take a couple of simple measurements and take some brochures so that she can decide what she wants. The usual installers call me back later with the relevant sizes and specs that the lady would like and we agree on products, price, delivery date, etc. So far, so normal.

The day of the delivery comes, and the usual installation guys have been held up, so the boss says he’ll watch the shop while another colleague and I go to do a couple of deliveries. We get to the old lady’s house and go to take the old cooker out, and it is old — maybe forty or fifty years! And the kettle is the old type that boils on the hob, not a plug-in type.

We take the old stuff out and bring the new one in. All the while, the old lady is shadowing us, muttering under her breath.

As I am testing the new hotplates, the lady has filled up her new kettle behind me and goes to place it on the glowing hot stove. I quickly snatch it away before she melts it and possibly blows up her new stuff. I explain that this is not like her old one. I get the plug and base from the box and explain that it does not work the same as her old one.

Then, she wants to check that the cooker is working, so she proceeds to scurry over and try to place her hand directly on a glowing red stove! I again just manage to grab her arm in time and tell her she must be careful as this is very hot, and she will seriously injure herself.

I have to explain another few times that she must under no circumstances touch the cooker top while it’s on or place her old kettle onto it as it could blow up.

We finally get going to the next job after spending an additional half-hour with this woman, who we conclude must be senile. After about fifteen minutes, the boss phones us absolutely raging. He has a distraught old lady on the phone who has just nearly blown herself up after doing exactly what we just told her not to do, melting a full kettle and dumping two litres of water straight into the live electrics of the cooker!

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