I work at an alarm monitoring company. We’re not the actual alarm company, so we don’t handle billing, tech support, basically anything that doesn’t have to do with an alarm going off. We dispatch local authorities or disregard your alarms and not much else.
For some reason or another, when people get their alarm systems, they don’t tell the people who they put as their emergency contacts that they’ve done such. So it’s not uncommon for people to think we’re calling to sell alarms (we’re not) or that it’s a scam to get personal information. (It’s not). PLEASE!!! If you are getting an alarm system, tell the people who you are making contacts!!!
On with the story.
I receive a residential fire alarm. The usual procedures for this is to call the site first, if no contact, you dispatch fire department, then call emergency contacts to see if they are able to meet authorities there. It’s Sunday, and the alarm is from the Bible Belt. I wasn’t able to make contact on site so the fire department was dispatched and I am now calling the contact listed as a neighbor. I’ll be Me, she’ll be Jesus Lady or JL for short.
Me: Hi, this is beegealous with (alarm company). I’m calling in regards to —
JL: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? YOU’RE CALLING ON A SUNDAY? THE LORD’S DAY? WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE RESTING! DON’T YOU HAVE JESUS IN YOUR HEART?!
I’m stunned, but it’s my second to last day, and as I’ve reached peak “fuck it,” this is actually pretty funny to me. I had to mute the phone to laugh.
Me: I’m sorry, I’m calling in regards to an alarm from —
JL: I DON’T CARE WHY YOU’RE CALLING, I AM NOT INTERESTED!
So she thinks I’m selling something. I get this a lot. Usually I ask if they know the subscriber. Sometimes I get a “yes,” sometimes a pause and they say “no.” I know you know the person if you pause. Just tell the truth!
Me: I’m calling regarding (subscriber’s name), do you know them?
JL: Oh my god, yes, that’s my elderly neighbor!
Me: We received a fire alarm from their residence, we have dispatched the fire department and we are calling to see if you are available to meet them?
Her tone changed so fast it was almost whiplash! Sputters and apologizing to me, over and over again. There ended up being no emergency but I seriously hope she never answers the phone like that to someone again!
TL;DR: religious woman thinks I’m trying to sell her something when her elderly neighbor is potentially having an emergency.