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I think I just got the weirdest call in all my time working in a call center

Okay, so let me preface this by saying that I’ve been working in a variety of call centers for a while and I’ve heard just about everything you can think of: I used to work signing up people for insurance through the ACA, working with Medicare, and answering questions for the CDC (I quit in January 2020, though, right before the big one hit.)

I just started a new position doing outbound calls with market research since I need something part-time until my job starts in August. Most of my calls are voice mail and hang-ups, so it’s pretty chill. But I got a call on my shift a few hours ago that was…beyond baffling and I was honestly wondering if anyone else has ever had a call like what I’m about to describe. Like, I want to know if it’s a thing that I’m just unaware of.

So, I dial my number and the phone picks up. I do my spiel (I’m lintwhite, calling from blah blah blah) and this guy (with a thick accent, I’m thinking Russian?) says he’s “up in space” – like, he’s an actual astronaut on the ISS. I know this is bullshit but I can’t call him on it so I have to play along. So I’m like, oh, okay, will you be willing to do the survey? And he says yes and he asked me what country I’m in and talked about how amazing the technology capabilities are in space and and that he’s doing something at the moment but he can still do the survey. He seems REALLY distracted so I’m thinking I’ll have to disconnect the call because I can’t get him to focus on answering questions.

Then another voice comes on the line in the background (maybe a recording?) telling him that he needs to get a move on, his oxygen levels are dropping and that the task needs to get finished. He’s like, yes, yes, I’m doing it and I keep trying to get him to keep focused on the interview but he keeps going, I’m sorry, hold on a moment, it’ll just be a moment and the other voice keeps insisting he finish and his oxygen levels are at 45% now. Then just as I’m about to say that I can’t continue the call, there’s suddenly an emergency noise and he’s like, oh no, oh no, hold on a second, something’s happening and the voice is urging him to hurry, that his oxygen levels are dropping…aaaaand that’s when I ended the call, because I’m just not going to get a survey out of this guy.

So yeah, this man was ready to roleplay an astronaut on the ISS and came ready with recordings (or another person?) and everything. His level of dedication was insane; he did not break character the entire time. Like I said before, I have never in the entire time of working in call centers heard anything like this – and you remember, I worked for the CDC so I heard some of the wildest shit you can imagine.

Anybody ever got a situation like this one? I know I never have.

What do you think?

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