Just One of the Many "Services" I Provide

A long long time ago, in a land far far away (Far away from your house, at least. And from sanity, probably.), I worked in an office where I answered phones and explained "products" to "clients." Yes, I'm being intentionally vague here. And you're going to have to live with it. Because I don't really want to be specific and it's my blog. But also because it's not material to the story.

What follows is the actual conversation between myself and a "client" (Why do quote marks make that seem dirty? Because it was not in any way dirty, but the quote marks on "client" kind of make it feel like I should be saying "John" or something... It's just me? Okay, moving on.). Names have been changed to protect... Well, to protect me, really, because there's a chance this could come back and bite me. But probably not. I hope. And I don't think "Geraldine" needs protecting...

Anyway, I got a strange call, hung up, wrote it all down as best I could remember, and e-mailed it to Sister. This happened a lot at this job--both the odd conversations with crazy people and the e-mailed transcriptions of my phone calls. It kept me from harming people (mostly) and it entertained Sister (sometimes). This e-mail, coincidentally, is one of the first times she encouraged me to start a blog. It's the little details like this that keep you coming back for more, isn't it? Just a small service I provide. Well, I dug in my e-mail archives to avoid coming up with a real topic provide you with another service: allowing you to laugh at my daily pain.

And now, without further ado, an excerpt from Phone Calls With Crazy People (coming soon to Broadway):

Telephone rings
ELISE: Hello, [Company Name], this is Elise.

GERALDINE: Hi, my name is Geraldine and I'm a great-grandmother and (high-pitched laughter) there's a deer outside eating a tree!

ELISE: (strained laughter) Alright... How can I help you, Geraldine?

GERALDINE: Well, I think that women are being represented unfairly when they... Well, I'm reading about this [product/benefit] in the Senior Register and I'm concerned, because it's for widows and I think all women who are widows should be eligible for this [product/benefit]. 

ELISE: Okay, Ma'am. That [product/benefit] is available for people over 65 and disabled veterans or the widow of a qualifying person. What is your concern?

GERALDINE: Well, just that all single mothers should have access to this [product/benefit], since I know a lot of them that are widows and are elderly.

ELISE: If they are over 65, they qualify.

GERALDINE: Yes, but I don't know if I qualify.

ELISE: Are you over 65?

GERALDINE: Well, I'll be 63 in a few months. 

ELISE: So... No?

GERALDINE: So I don't qualify? Even though I'm a widow?

ELISE: Was your husband over 65 when he died.

GERALDINE: Well, he's 4 years older than me, so that would make him 66, so yes.

ELISE: Then, yes, you would qualify.

GERALDINE: But, he'd have to be all-the-way dead?

ELISE: (long, awkward pause) Yes, ma'am... He would have to be dead.

GERALDINE: Like, in-the-ground dead?

ELISE: (uncomfortable silence) Yes, ma'am, your husband would have to be dead for you to be a widow. And to qualify for this [product].

GERALDINE: Well, he lives in Michigan.

ELISE: (long, awkward pause) Well, than I don't think you'd qualify.

GERALDINE: I divorced him 30 years ago and he's as good as dead to me.

ELISE: (long, awkward pause) Well, yes, ma'am, I understand. But I don't think that qualifies.

GERALDINE: But he's a disabled veteran.

ELISE: If he's disabled, then he would qualify.

GERALDINE: Oh, he's disabled, alright. He shot himself in the head once and didn't die. (maniacal laughter) Yeah, he's disabled.

ELISE: Okay... Well, if he's disabled, then he qualifies. 

GERALDINE: And if I were his widow, I'd qualify?

ELISE: Yes, ma'am. If you were married to him at the time of his death, you would qualify.

GERALDINE: But he would have to die?

ELISE: For you to be his widow, yes. He would have to die.

GERALDINE: Well, if it's meant to be, God'll see to it.

You're welcome.


  1. OMG!!!! This was freakin' HILARIOUS!!!! I love when stuff like this happens! I bet she had dementia and forgot she called you like, 4.3 seconds after she hung up. Awesome!!!

    ARRGHHHH!!! Disqus always confuses me!

  2. I think she forgot she called me about 4.3 seconds after she dialed... :)

    And I'm not sure I love Disqus either, but I know I hate the blogger commenting system (no way to reply, often finicky, etc). I'm still feeling it out. Any suggestions?

  3. Sarcasm Goddess7/12/11, 11:22 PM

    I want that job!!!

  4. You really really don't. But for a lot of different reasons. And Geraldine wasn't really any of them. So, from this snapshot? Yes, be jealous. And let's just forget about reality. So, yes, be jealous. (See what I just did here?)


  6. This is disturbingly hysterical!! (PS - I'm having trouble receiving your RSS feeds correctly - not sure if anyone else is having the same trouble? Haven't tried Disqus though I'm curious about it. I have CommentLuv - it had some kinks but they responded quickly with helping me fix all the problems and now it's working well. But it's way more busy looking than your clean Disqus. Hope the feedback helps!)

  7. I thought you might like it... :)

  8. I will look into the RSS issue. I am not very technologically savvy, so I get really scared when someone tells me there's something wrong with my blog. WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIX IT AND MY BLOG DIES AND NO ONE EVER LOVES ME AGAIN?! Okay, panic over, I'll get on it. Thanks for the heads up.