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Dreadful pits of hellish torture for both customer and the people who work there. Press 1 to leave an amusing story, press 2 for us to send you a lunchbox full of turds.

(, Thu 3 Sep 2009, 12:20)
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Sometimes, it pays to listen.
First of all, everything written below is true and is virtually word-for-word a transcript of the conversation. I have changed names for obvious reasons. Apologies in advance for the lack of funneh.

Picture the scene: It's a snowy December's night somewhere north of the Watford Gap. Thanks to a small fuckup involving a patient the size of a whale and my back, I am now on light duties in the ambulance control room. It's coming up to 1am, there's a force 8 gale and blizzard battering the control room.


UCC: "Ambulance Service"

Operator: "Blackburn connecting phone number 01234567890"

UCC: "Thank you operator. Go ahead caller. What's the address please?"

Caller: "Um..I'm at the junction of Any Street and Thingy Road in Arsetown (insert name of quite scroaty town here.)"

UCC: "OK, I've got that address. What's the problem tonight?"

Caller (sounds like a young lad) "I'm really sorry to bother you, but I didn't know who else to call."

U: That's OK, just tell us what the problem is and we'll get something sorted.

Caller: I'm really really cold. I've been out on the street all day and I'm freezing. I've tried the police and they gave me a number for a hostel but I've got no cash on me and I can't feel my feet now.

U: (clicking through questions) OK, what's your name?

C: It's Luke

U: OK Luke, my name's Carrot. I'm just going to ask a few questions. They're not going to delay us getting any help to you.

C: (starts crying) I'm really sorry. I'm so sorry.

U: Hey, that's OK. Don't worry.

C: I'm just wasting your time, I'm just wasting everyone's time...

U: (I stop typing). Listen Luke, you're not wasting anyone's time. I'm here until 7 in the morning, so you can take as long as you want.

C: Well, I dunno who to talk to or anything.

U: Well you can talk to me.

C: Well....I told my mum at lunch that I'm gay. I've got this boyfriend and he's great and everything so I thought I should tell her because I love him, and I love her.

U: Right...

C: So I told her, and she told me to get out of the house, that she didn't want to know me if I was a fucking fag, and she wasn't having me in her house. So she shoved me out the front door. I got my coat but my wallet and my mobile is still at home.

U: OK...

C: I had a few coins in my pocket so I phoned my boyfriend to hope he'd take me in.

U: Does he live with his parents too?

C: No, he's 32.

U: Right, and how old are you?

C: I'm 17. I'll be 18 next month.

U: OK, so what happened?

C: He just laughed and said I was a stupid cunt, and hung up on me.

U: He hung up on you?

C: Yeah.

U: I see.

C: So then I just wandered town. A nice lady bought me a cup of tea in the cafe, but now everything's closed and I've got nowhere to go. It's my fault. It's my fault for being gay. I shouldn't be gay...(breaks down in tears.)

U: Right Luke, stop right there. There is NOTHING wrong with being gay. Don't let two silly people make you feel otherwise. I'm gay too, and I know exactly how it feels to be on the receiving end of stupid idiots like that. But it worked out for me and it'll work out for you. Now we need to get you sorted out first of all. Do you have any relatives or friends nearby?

C: No, we just moved here from (another town about 20 miles away) so I know nobody apart from my boyfriend.

U: Right, this is what I am going to do. I am going to send an ambulance to you, not on blue lights but they will be with you shortly, OK? They will look after you and get you warmed up.

C: Oh God, what about college? I'm doing my A-levels....

U: Let's not worry about that at the moment. Let's get you sorted first. Can you give me the number of the hostel?

C: Yeah, it's 019876543321

U: OK, I'll get onto them and get that sorted. I'm going to give you my direct number when you get sorted at hospital, so ring me as soon as possible from the hospital, or if that fails, call 999 and ask to speak to Carrot.

C: Thank you. Thank you so much.

U: The ambulance crew should be with you now.

C: Yeah I can see them.

U: OK, I'm going to terminate the call now. Let me know how you get on.

C: Thanks so much. Bye.

U: Bye.

So I went and got the hostel sorted (despite an argument with a stroppy warden about him being under 18). At 6am, I get a phonecall on my direct phone.

U: Ambulance control, Carrot speaking.

C: Hi Carrot, it's Luke.

U: Hi Luke. How are you doing?

C: I'm much better thanks. I've got the nurse with me who wants to have a word.

Nurse: Hello, is that the calltaker?

U: Yes it is.

N: I thought you might like to know - Luke was so cold when we got him here that he was clinically hypothermic. 20 minutes more outside and he would be dead. He's fine now he's dried out and warmed up.

U: Well, that's great news. I've managed to get a hostel sorted.

N: Well, what's the address? We will pay the taxi fare for him.

So Luke got into the hostel, where he stayed over Christmas. He then moved back to where he used to live where he moved in with his Dad.

Luke is now 21 years old. He finished college with 2 A's and a C at A level and went to university. He has just finished his final year and looks set to get a 1st in his degree. He is one of the nicest, most well rounded young men I have ever had the fortune to meet...and I was lucky enough to meet him. He's had a few relationships, some good, some shite, but now he seems to be with a lovely, and quite frankly barking, bloke who clearly loves him to bits.

So I should feel proud and warm inside? Well I should, but I was very close to telling him to fuck off and stop wasting our time within the first 30 seconds of the call because I was tired and busy.

Sometimes it really does pay to listen.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 19:07, 56 replies)
Nice one.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 19:25, closed)
listening can be a boring pain in the arse
but at times like this, when listening can be the difference between life and death, well, that's when it all becomes worthwhile.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 19:36, closed)

One of the nicest, most uplifting 'reaffirming my belief in humanity' stories I've read in a while.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 19:39, closed)
was a great thing of you to do, there's many who wouldn't. Reading it has brightened up my day :)
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 19:46, closed)
That is fucking awesome. I am quite humbled. Nice one. FTW.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 19:55, closed)
Not FTW at all, this, if anything, shows that the world is not to be fucked. This is the least FTW thing I have ever heard.
Nice story fella *click*.
(, Mon 7 Sep 2009, 2:08, closed)
Where I come from FTW means Fuck The World. Yes, for the win, for the win indeed!! xx
(, Mon 7 Sep 2009, 2:11, closed)
that's beautiful
you just made me cry a bit there carrot :o

you're amazing and I love you.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 20:16, closed)
You Sir,
are what is known as a 'Top Bloke' (may be understating the fact somewhat)
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 20:54, closed)
Well I've clicked, but it seems somehow a little insignificant.
I hope you get huge karma for your kindness to a stranger, the world would be a better place with more people like you in it.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 21:01, closed)
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 21:12, closed)
Above and Beyond.
You did a good thing. I think that in the end, it matters little if you think you nearly didn't.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 21:21, closed)
What a cunt of a mother
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 21:26, closed)
^ this
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 8:40, closed)
Bloody decent human being, you are.
This is only the second time that I've left a comment on a QOTW. Nice to know that there is a light when the darkness is at its worst.

Have a clicky-thingy.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 21:33, closed)
The kindness of strangers
You're a top quality hoomin be-an, innit. Have a click.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 21:54, closed)
Nice One
Made my evening reading that.
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 22:16, closed)
I don't have much else to say
But I love you for this. *click*
(, Fri 4 Sep 2009, 23:04, closed)
I'd hug you
but you're all far-away and would probably be a bit creeped out by the odd chap in a top hat suddenly hugging you.
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 0:35, closed)
This is why
people make me :3

You are awesome. :3
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 1:02, closed)
undercover hero
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 1:32, closed)
You are ALL of the lullies
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 2:14, closed)
When Fate decides to twat you one and make your life a misery, it's going to look at this story in Your Big Book Of Fate and say:

"Nah. I owe him one..."

And visit the misfortune on someone else.

(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 3:03, closed)
That's beautiful. Job well done

(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 6:27, closed)
Excellent work
A job well done, that's made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. *click*
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 7:02, closed)
Carrot you are a lovely human in a horrible mess of disgusting ones.

Luke was lucky to get you and his mum is a fetid pile of pus.

Very glad his Dad is obviously a normal man.

You made me feel better on an arvo when things had gone wrong. Clickies for you Carrot (it's not much but better than a dose of the trots).
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 8:46, closed)
Top notch fella.
Top notch. Somehow a click isn't worth it, but this story better win this week.
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 9:01, closed)
*eyes well up a bit*
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 10:52, closed)
Massive props
I feel proud of you and I don't even know you. I hope Luke is happy wherever he is now. How lovely you stayed in touch.

I hope his mother realised how STUPID she's been.
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 11:16, closed)
Thanks chaps and chapesses
I really wasn't going for kudos when I posted this. Truth be told, I felt a bit ashamed by the fact that if I'd been in a cunty mood, he might have frozen to death. And that scared the fuck out of me.

Luke's mum has only seen him twice since the incident. He's got no contact with her. Luckily his dad is a top bloke (genuine mad scientist who likes to experiment with things that go bang) and has taken him back in. As far as I know, Luke's mum is still on her own in the flat, slowly dissolving in her own bile and bitterness.

Thanks for the lovely comments guys.
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 12:29, closed)
All the world is not Thatcherite, then?
Please accept this large, ostentatious medal for a job well done!
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 13:17, closed)
this actually
made me cry :)
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 13:45, closed)
I work for NHS Direct
and we get calls like this quite frequently too.
You're right, it's very easy to dismiss them as time wasters to start with but it takes someone special to go that extra mile and take what they're saying seriously.

Big fat dollop of kudos to you, mate.
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 15:41, closed)
I think like many I have been compelled
to reply.

I think what gets to people is that many who are reading aren't sure that they would have the same compassion and understanding in the same situation. And it's touching that you have stayed in touch.
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 16:14, closed)
you're a real gent. Click!!!

As much as I like your usual pun-related twattery, this is def for the WIN!!! Nice one!!!

Oh fuck it, have some more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(, Sat 5 Sep 2009, 16:37, closed)
Nice one
A little heart warming story on a Sunday morning. Even though I work in healthcare and inbound call centres, it's nice to hear tales of someone in genuine need getting the help that they need. Not just at AmbCon but also a&e and services after that.

Have a click, and I doubt I'll be clicking anymore this week.
(, Sun 6 Sep 2009, 12:14, closed)
* sniffle *
You're a good man - you deserve far more than a click
(, Sun 6 Sep 2009, 21:06, closed)
Top show that, carrot.

(, Mon 7 Sep 2009, 13:40, closed)
You Sir....
...have my click and my deepest respect. Thank you.
(, Mon 7 Sep 2009, 14:50, closed)
Very well done
I'd wager that the young man will know what a change he can make for someone and help like you did if he's ever on the other side of a situation like that, so your kindness will keep going.
(, Mon 7 Sep 2009, 17:17, closed)
This is
lovely. You have made my jaded eyes water with your loveliness, and I really can't click enough.
(, Mon 7 Sep 2009, 19:42, closed)
There are so many reasons why I have to click this post.

Nicely done!
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 12:07, closed)
This post
is ALL win!! Such a great story and with a most triumphant outcome. The world can definitely do with more Carrot-y goodness! *clickness*
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 12:36, closed)
See me...
This is me doing the happy dance this is.

Next slice of cake is for you sir.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 12:51, closed)
What everyone above said.
(, Wed 9 Sep 2009, 2:58, closed)
I think all words of praise have been said.

Did make me tear up
(, Wed 9 Sep 2009, 12:10, closed)

(, Wed 9 Sep 2009, 15:26, closed)
That's twice I've filled up with tears at b3ta this week
top stuff dude *clicks*
(, Wed 9 Sep 2009, 17:21, closed)
Well played that Carrot
(, Wed 9 Sep 2009, 17:30, closed)
Whoa what a response
SO I'm going to add that's fantastic.
(, Wed 9 Sep 2009, 17:57, closed)
This is by far the best QOTW post I've read.
Huge kudos to you for going that extra mile.
(, Wed 9 Sep 2009, 18:02, closed)
that's a great story,
and, even better, a great ending :)
There's so much to be said for taking the time to listen
(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 9:18, closed)
Clickety click
I used to help a couple of homeless guys quite regulary when I left my office in London. One evening I'd had a few beers in the bar opposite work and lost my wallet. I was drunkly wandering around trying to figure out how to get home and they came over and gave me the money for the train. Bless them. You've notched up some good karma, and you will get it back.
(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 10:34, closed)
well done :)
its hard not to be cynical these days eh? or should i say its easier to be cynical.
(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 14:23, closed)
Top job
It would have been so easy to
discount him, but at that time
you became his only friend in
the world.
You did a good.
(, Thu 10 Sep 2009, 14:59, closed)

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