“How can we help?”

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86.3% of young people in the UK are currently employed, whether it be in zero-hour contracts or part-time jobs. Some of us are luckier than others in terms of where we can find employment and I was definitely one of the lucky ones. During my time in sixth form, I worked in the switchboard of a mass UK retailer. In short, a switchboard operator transfers customer calls to relevant departments in the stores and resolves any problems where necessary. In the time I worked there, I heard some genuinely ridiculous things that made every shift so much more entertaining. Here are a few:

1- “Hi, my daughter is looking for a part-time job. Do you have any?” Sure, she sounds a great addition to our team despite the fact she can’t pick up the phone and ask for herself.

2- “Eeh, I can’t believe you open on a bank holiday. In my day…” Oh great. My second British history lesson of the morning. Come on then, tell me all about your World War 2 rations book.

3- “Has anyone handed a hand in today? It’s green and has a bracelet on it” It’s careless enough to leave your credit card behind, let alone your prosthetic limbs.

4- “Hello, I was just wondering if you could put away a male turkey for me to pick up?” Unfortunately, all of our baldy, headless Phasianidae are gender neutral.

5- “The steps in your store are too small for my husband’s feet.” Well, madam, he’s going to have to side step, isn’t he?

6- “I bought a pie to eat on Friday but it expires tomorrow. This is disgraceful service; someone should have warned me at the till!” Sorry, our telepathic worker is off on the sick. She’s quite overworked.

7- “Which is crisper in your opinion, your Sauvignon or your Chardonnay?” I’m a call taker, not a wine connoisseur.

8- “I got a parking ticket today whilst I was in your store! I want you to pay it.” Wow, I didn’t realise that our members of staff parked your car for you. That was good of them.

9-  “I’m never shopping here again!” Yeah right mate, see you on Monday.

10- “My shopping tipped over and now there’s chicken grease all over my car. My husband is a vegetarian and he’s furious.” Shop somewhere else. Please.

11- “How many mince pies are there in your four-packs?” Six. Why else would they be called four-packs?

12- “Is your coffee grown locally?” Yes, you can see all of the crops growing on the banks of the Tyne.

13- “I bought a pack of wine gums and they’re all the same shape” I didn’t realise rectangles tasted better than circles. Must be all those corners.

14- “How come you sell a T-shirt for £50 when it was made in Bangladesh for 50p?” I’m not the CEO, sweetie.

15- “Hello, I’m just coming to the store and I’m at the Derby roundabout. Which exit do I take?” Our office isn’t based on a satellite and my name isn’t TomTom. Buy a map; they’re quite cheap.