Two quickies for you today (and I think I told the first story before here but it’s worth repeating):
Calltakers (business lines as well as 911 lines) have to know everything about everything. This is because people from all over the world will call the police for the strangest questions.
Case in point: A calltaker recruit was being monitored by a Field Training Officer (well, the correct title is probably Communication Training Instructor but everyone calls them FTO’s). Since the recruit was doing well, the FTO was plugged in and listening peripherally but having a conversation with another employee across the room (with her headset cord stretched across to the other employee’s desk). Suddenly the FTO cocked her head, stopped her personal conversation in mid sentence and quickly scoot-rolled her chair back to her recruit while saying in slow motion (like Kurt Russell in Tombstone) “nooooooooooo!” And then the FTO just stopped, slump shouldered, and turned to me.
She said, “Eric, what would you do if an older male called from someplace in Wisconsin and told you his grandson was doing a report for school and wanted to know if jackalopes existed?”
“You mean a rabbit with horns, that kind of jackalope?” I clarified.
“Oh no,” was all I could say.
“Oh yes. My recruit told this guy that there were indeed jackalopes and that she’d seen one stuffed and mounted at a restaurant in town. The guy said ‘thank you’ and hung up before I could correct my recruit. I don’t think she believes me that they are not real animals. Can you step over and verify that jackalopes are not real?”
“Yes, yes he did.”
One of my favorite coworkers is the Queen of Malapropism. When she orders a gyro sandwich, she asks for extra “jujitsu” sauce.
Recently the conversation of hairy men came up (look, I work nearly exclusively with women so these things come up and I mostly listen and stay out of the way… although maybe I’m a big fat liar because I vaguely recall pointing out that as a guy gets older, he’s liable to get hair in places where he’s appalled to have hair and it’s through no fault of his own). Anyway, Q of M, is describing her husband who is apparently quite hairy and she says, “he’s almost like a …, like a…, like a Saskatchewan!”
My apologies to our neighbors to the East (North to you lower 48’ers).