Tale from the Appalachian Wastelands

Someone I know works at a call center here in WV, dealing with utilities customers. They related this story to me yesterday. I will retell it as best I can. Please to enjoy.

Yesterday a gas meter repair tech headed to a call in Oak Hill. He spoke to a man who lived at the house, who told him that the only person home was Granny. Granny was half blind and half deaf and slept all day. “She won’t even know you’re there, so don’t bother her. I’ll leave the basement doors open so you can go downstairs and repair the meter.” Fair enough.

The tech goes down to the basement and starts working on the meter. After several minutes, the basement bilco doors suddenly shut. He hears the latch shut, locking them. A woman’s voice says “Hah hah, I got you now! I’m gonna go get me my gun!”

The tech, understandably concerned, whips out his phone to call for help. But it’s Oak Hill. Not exactly out in the boonies, but also not an actual city. Down there in the basement he has no signal. He fires off a text message in hopes that it will send when a signal becomes available. He keeps moving around the basement trying to find a connection but has no luck.

The text message, thankfully, does end up at the dispatch office. It reads something like “I’m at [X location]. She locked me in the basement. She has a gun. Send help.”

The message was received by a new employee who had no idea what to do. She frantically searched the manual for what to do in a situation like this. Apparently there is no entry in the manual for “Tech is being held hostage in a dungeon like it’s Silence of the Lambs.” She decides to call her uncle, who is a local firefighter. Uncle knows this family. He makes a call to the cops, who also know this family, as he’s on his way to diffuse the situation.

The firefighter gets there and Granny apparently doesn’t know HIM either. She is still armed. She tells him to freeze in place and put his hands up.

Then the cops arrive to find Granny holding a fireman at gunpoint.

Eventually another family member gets there and Granny is disarmed and the whole thing ends peacefully. The tech is let out of the basement and quickly shuffles off to his next call before fixing the meter. Which enrages Granny, because goddernnit her stove ain’t workin’. The tech promises to reschedule at a time when people other than Calamity fuckin’ Jane are home.

And now you know…the rest of the story.

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I’ll get you fired!!!

When contacting a call centre, it is not cool to try to use other options to skip the queue