I used to work for a US company where I was placing maintenance service requests/ dealing with property management related requests. We were the offsite office. This customer was in Alaska; military housing.
Me = Me
COLB = Crying Over a Light Bulb
Me: Thank you for calling, is this an emergency? (we had clear and precise guidelines of what is considered a property management emergency. We were not 911 but sometimes it felt like we were)
Me: What is your emergency?
COLB: My master bedroom light won’t turn off *she already sounded like it was all my fault*
Me: *already rolling my eyes, deffo not an emergency* What is your address? COLB proceeds to verify address and all details needed. Started typing the service request.
Me: Did you try to turn it off from the light switch in the master bedroom?
COLB: Yes, and it does not turn off. The light is still on.
Me: *trying to probe further, maybe the switch that she is trying is not the right one, maybe I am missing something. She is not having it, she does not want to try anything else, does not want to look, nothing* Did you try to shut it off from the breaker box?
COLB: I am walking outside, let me have a look. Which one is for the master bedroom?
Me: I don’t know but try to see which one is labeled master bedroom or bedroom.
COLB: You guys did not label them, how am I supposed to know?
Me: *trying to help her while she is telling me it’s all my fault that the breakers are not labeled* I am placing the service request as we speak and one of the technicians will be with you shortly.
COLB: When are they coming? I am supposed to leave in 10 minutes. I need them NOW.
Me: *trying to reassure her that someone will be there shortly and that I will dispatch her request as an urgency*
COLB: The breaker is hot!!! I need someone NOW!
Me: From the breaker box? Is it hot to the touch? Is it a specific one? Let me know what is happening.
COLB: *Starts crying* My house is on fire, send someone NOW! *hangs up*
Me: *left in a state of shock and disbelief and cannot believe what I just heard* I will have to dispatch it as an emergency service request and call 911 as well for her. *Is it true, is it not true? cannot take any chances*
I do everything as fast as I can and call all the necessary departments. The maintenance technician is on his way, the fire department on its way. I am still in shock.
Cue to around 30 minutes later I get a call, SAME VOICE…COLB crying. She does not recognize my voice. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?
COLB: *sniffing* I just spoke with someone earlier and wanted to apologize as my master bedroom light was not turning off and my dog was barking, my child was crying, I was supposed to leave and I did not know what to do. But it is all fixed now.
Me: Yes, I remember speaking with you, sorry that you are having such a hard time. But glad that it is fixed now.
Mind you I was checking that service request every 5 seconds for updates. Maintenance technician got there within 5 minutes as he was near and TURNED OFF THE LIGHT SWITCH as she was turning off the wrong one. There was no house of fire, no breaker box hot to the touch, nothing. Fire department called for nothing. Waste of everyone’s time.
She got told off for lying and believe that her sponsor might have gotten in trouble as well. But I will never forget that “her dog was barking, child was crying” and she just had to lie and cry over a light bulb.