Appendages seem to be a real commodity with our customers as my funniest calls thus far have involved someone losing them. Although, come to think of it, no one ever explains what happened to their limbs only what life is like since they’ve been gone. Anyway, two customers in particular stand out in this category.
I had one woman, a middle aged nurse, call in for an extension. She wanted something totally undoable, like two months or something, (the max is three weeks past the due date) and our conversation went something like…
“I’m sorry ma’am the best I could do would be October 31st.”
“Well the thing is Natasha, my husband’s foot is decaying. It’s literally black and just this morning his pinky toe came off in my hand while I was cleaning him. Can you imagine the smell of that? I cannot work when I am in charge of trying to keep that man from rotting all to pieces! Surely you understand this situation!”
Except I really didn’t understand. At this point the only thing that comes to mind is A Rose for Emily by Faulkner and I’m now convinced that this woman’s husband is already dead. Do living people have toe’s that can just crumble away? Not unless frost bite is involved, to my knowledge, which isn’t feasible in the South.
She continued with, “And really, his legs almost gone and I don’t have to worry about my power bill! Can I talk to your supervisor please?”
My next customer was my favorite. We’ll name her Barb. Barb couldn’t pay her bill on time because she had her right thumb removed. She had been disconnected because her bill was actually a month past due. Our conversation went something like…
“I’m sorry ma’am but 226.45 was actually due on October 15th and since no payment has been received since September that is why you were disconnected. I could take a payment for 75% of that if you would like to reconnect your services.”
“Natasha, how am I supposed to make a payment when I aint got no thumbs?”
To my credit, I didn’t miss a beat, “You can pay through our automated phone system or through our website for free. You also have the option of paying a small fee to pay with an agent.”
“I DON’T HAVE ANY THUMBS! I can’t write with my left hand! Can you?”
“No ma’am, I am right handed but you can–”
“NATASHA, do you have your thumbs?”
“Yes ma’am, I have my thumbs but–”
“Well, than you have NO IDEA how hard it is to not have a thumb! How can I pay an electric bill without a thumb! I can’t even get dressed in the morning let alone hold a job! I AINT GOT NO THUMBS NA-TAHHHHH-SHA!”
And then she hung up.