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» Shit Claims to Fame II

Robert Downey Jr's two veg
Readers, you may recall the first of the recent spate of Sherlock films when it came out several years ago. You may also recall a scene where Sherlock and Watson chase a villain through the streets, barging past people going about their business. At one point, they overturn a cart full of fresh vegetables. Gentle reader - I ate the cabbages on that cart. In fact, they became a most wonderful sausage and vegetable stew.

(This part of Sherlock was filmed - as many big budget productions are - at Greenwich Naval College in London. The place becomes a giant film set, mostly closed off to the public. But my friend used to work in a shop on site and took pity on all that poor veg, about to be thrown away, and brought it back to a good home.)
(Fri 21st Sep 2012, 15:01, More)

» Call Centres

Hole in One
Although six months of directory enquiries work was generally nightmarish, a couple of calls did cheer me up immensely.

One was a lonely-sounding elderly man who wanted to know what would happen if he dug a hole through the earth with a spoon. We spent ages discussing what sort of spoon would be best and at what point we would hit lava.
'You're a fountain of knowledge, you are' he said. 'You should make this one of your regular services - answering any question people ask of you.'
I felt bad eventually, as the call was costing him a mint, but he seemed cheered up by it.

Another time a polite-sounding young man called up sounding distressed. Unfortunately, one of the company policies was that you had to repeat everything the caller told you to show that you'd heard them right:
ME: 'Welcome to 118118, how may I help you?'
HIM: 'I've got my cock stuck in a doughnut!'
ME: 'So that's a cock stuck in a doughnut. How can I help you with that?'
HIM: 'Well, I don't want it stuck here, do I!'
ME: 'Right, so you'd like help for a cock, stuck in a doughnut - is that right?'
HIM: 'Well I reckon I need a hospital or ambulance or something? Hey, it's turning a funny colour!'
ME: 'Right, well I can only give you one number. Would you like the hospital?'
HIM: 'I dunno, will they be able to help?'
ME: 'I'll tell you what, I'll put you through to NHS direct. You can tell them all about it.'

I wonder what they made of it?
(Fri 4th Sep 2009, 0:10, More)

» Easiest Job Ever

On the hoof
I was hired by a university laboratory to drive a swanky hire car every week to an abattoir to pick up cows' feet and tails for gruesome and sinister (I presume) experiments.

I'd drive for three hours, hang around the abattoir for a while as they got their wares ready (an experience in itself), throw the goods in the boot and drive three leisurely hours back while listening to ACDC.

All stopped when the uni got a speeding ticket on my behalf, but it was well worth it.
(Sat 11th Sep 2010, 18:53, More)

» Call Centres

tongue tied
Working for a directory enquiries company several years ago - let's call them Fun Fun? Nay - I had to say the same phrase every 30 or so seconds 'Welcome to 118118 how may I help you?' (Not how CAN I help you, mind - the wording had to be exact.)

For some reason saying those words over and over to a colourful collection of ungrateful, rude and idiotic people, made my brain flip and decide it could no longer say the phrase - my tongue started to spasm and I just couldn't get the words out.

Six hellish months later and I had modified my greeting phrase to something like 'Hello, can I help you.' I promptly got called up during a 'monitoring session', asking why I wasn't saying the right words. Was there something wrong? No, they didn't see how such a mindless repetitive task could cause something like that to happen.

That was the final straw and I quickly got out of there, but to this day I still can't say 'Welcome how may I help you' without my mouth literally convulsing in fear. . .
(Thu 3rd Sep 2009, 23:55, More)