Funny stories about phones and coworkers

While I don’t have many funny stories from my work, I do have a few. They are not NAW-worthy, but I thought I could share them here.

For a time, in an in- and outbound IT call center, I used to share a “desk island” (4 triangular desks forming a rhombus shape, basically sitting face to face with each other, divided by low panels) with three colleagues. 2 of them are involved in this story; following the old trope, let’s call them Alice and Bob.
One time, as I got up to go to our kitchen, both have just begun a call and I heard the following conversation.

Bob: “Hello, my name is Bob and I am calling you from [company].”
Alice: “Hello Bob, how are you?”
B: “I’m fine, thank you, how are you doing?”
A: “Thank you, I’m doing good.”

For a moment, I just stood there, thinking “have they really called each other?”. Of course, it turned out that no, Alice simply called someone who had the same name as “Bob” and their conversations started with just the right delay that their generic greeting questions and answers were in perfect sync.
I told them afterwards and we all had a good laugh about it :smiley: .

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Sounds like they were channelling their inner Ronnie…

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The network support

Another time, we were being trained to take over support of our employer’s Belgian clients. We had a colleague from the previous team to show us the ropes and answer any queries we had.
I got a call from a bank saying their internet was down. I found no procedure for this, so I asked our liaison what to do. After some searching, he gave me the network provider’s number. So, I called it.

Me: “Hello, I’m István from [company]. I would like to report that one of [Bank]'s locations has no internet connection.”
Representative: “Hello, OK, I will need to gather some info. Can you please give me the location’s address?”
Me: “Sure, it’s [address].”
R: “OK, and since when do they have no access?”
Me: “Since maybe half an hour ago.”
R: “OK, and… István, is that you?”
Me: “Yes, I am.”
R: “And I am [name], sitting behind you!”

And, sure enough, I was talking to a colleague in my own team, two rows behind me :grin: . Apparently, the number our liaison found for the bank’s “network provider” was, in fact, our support number, given to the locations to call in case they have issues.

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The Asian lady

This is my favorite funny workplace story. I used to sit opposite of a colleague who was very polite, always friendly and proper. One time, she was in a call with the on-site technician of some location and discussing getting in contact with one of their users, a lady of Asian descent, to check if she still has some issue.
The lady in question was called [First name] Fu.
But, hearing only my colleague’s end of the call (and not paying particular attention anyway, I had other stuff to do,) I did not know that.
What I did hear was that, this always polite colleague of mine, told someone on the phone, in a conversational tone, “So, then, eff you.”
Maybe you can imagine my shock at hearing this colleague, apparently, swear at someone on the phone. From the incredulous look I shot her, she realized in an instant what her spelling of the end user’s last name sounded like, and two things happened.

  1. She became redder than a lobster.
  2. She started laughing so hard, she actually had to mute the phone (somehow managing to tell the user she needs to “update her notes for a moment” without bursting), not helped by the fact that, realizing the actual situation and seeing her shade of red, I myself couldn’t stop giggling.

This story got told new colleagues several times during the time we worked together :smiley: .

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This made me laugh.

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