Probably the saddest call I’ve ever had

Hello all,

Fair warning, this is not going to be a fun one and may be ‘triggering’ to some with mental health issues; I, personally, really want to get it off my chest. This happened a few weeks ago and I still think about it.

I work as a registered rep for major investment management firm.

It was near the end of my day during the busy season. It was already a pretty rough day so I was rather emotionally drained, and then this call comes in.

Lady, client, middle age. She passes through security and she asked to have money be sent to her bank. Pretty standard.

That changes when I ask her how she wants to make this withdrawal (i.e which account, which bank on file, how much ect). At this point the client starts going on this spew that lasted a good 3-4 minutes about how she has worked for this money, she is making a withdrawal to ‘get back on her feet’ not a big deal but I let her vent and give a few minor compliments about that’s great what’s she doing ect. Something felt off but I just thought she was chatty.

Finally get her to confirm which account the money is coming out of. Then she drops this on me: ‘well I am doing this withdrawal to help my family get back on our feet… After my husband shot himself in the face in front of myself and my son!’ At this she just starts crying profusely for a good 5+ minutes and I am just sitting there stunned having no idea what to say.

Since many of my clients are elderly, having them calling in to report that one of them has died is not a huge deal any more, but this was something completely different.

By this point, the call was well into 20 minutes (similar calls take 7-10) and she’s apologize for crying but I just let her cry and tell her so (partially due to myself needing a moment) She eventually gains composure enough to do that last trade confirmations and frankly I do not remember much of the rest of the call. I think we spoke briefly about account (investment) performance but then she was on her way. I leave a brief note on her account warning other reps. that the client had recent trauma so handle with care. I took a pretty long break and a drink a water to regain composure before I took my last few calls of the day.

I’ve been yelled and cursed at, threatened to be sued (personally me, not the company) and called every negative thing in the book, but this is the one of the few calls that really stuck out to me. I understand that the clients first diversion might have been a ‘test’ to see if I was a ‘good shoulder to cry on’ and I am glad that I might have helped to make her life a little better, but I am just perplexed as to why anyone would think sharing something (without warning) like that would be okay. I fully understand that the shocked brain might not fully think clearly, but it was just a lot at the end of a long day.

Sorry for the downer of a post but I’m just curious if anyone else has had a similar story.

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