*Grumpius Oldus Masculum,* aka the Grumpy Old Man. A common and rather unpleasant specimen of the call center world, this creature is known for one thing, and one thing only: being grumpy. For decades experts have debated the reason for these men to be be grumpy.
Perhaps the supermarket ran out of prune juice, or their favorite television channel will no longer air “Matlock” reruns on Tuesday nights. Maybe the neighborhood children harangue him for not being with “it”, whatever “it” is, after scolding them to stay of his lawn for the seventeenth time that afternoon.
Whatever the cause, there is only one reason for their existence, and that is to make life difficult for the rest of us in an attempt that we too will be just as grumpy as they. A favorite target would be the customer service representative working in various industries such as food and retail.
Several months ago I received a call from one such man. Although I can’t remember it verbatim, the call went a little something like this.
Background: I work for the 811 call before you dig hotline for the U.S. Primarily I fill out dig requests over the phone for customers who call in, but sometimes we get callers that call that want to know why their property was marked stating they never requested locates (dig request) in the area. Its just a simple matter of filling a form over the phone to send to a manager to have them check our records for any requests filed based on the questions on the form. Most are polite, but one such caller stands out simply because he was too impatient to answer a couple of questions
M = Me, the man she tells you NOT to worry about.
G = Grumpy, not the disney character (at least I don’t think he was).
M: This is OP, how can I help you?
G: My name is Grumpy Man and I live at 321 Grump Street in Grumpsville. Theres a bunch of flags in my yard and I wanna know who put em there.
Not even so much as a hello, this guy didnt even give me a chance to write down his info before he started spouting off.
Usually I would have let him know about a website he can use as I have to refer them first before i can fill out the cover the phone form, (this is optional and they can choose to decline) but this guy sounded like he got up off the wrong side of the bed so i skipped that part.
M: Alright, is this for state A or state B?
G: You tell me, take a guess!
The reason I asked is because I do similar processes for more than one state. Our caller ID system would automatically tellus which calls are from where, but the line he called in didnt for some reason, and even though I knew which state hecwas in because of the city being a well known city in the state, I still had to ask.
Me: Is this for state A?
M: Okay, I’m just going to ask you a few questions. May have your name and address once again?
G: I already told you that I’m not saying it again!
Me: *slowly raise my head from my keyboard and stare at the screen* …um…I’m sorry?
G: I already told that to you so you should have it already!
M: Sir, I didn’t write it down, but if you tell me again I can put it in my computer.
G: NO! YOU NEED TO BE READY TO WRITE THINGS DOWN!
Yes, because I work at a computer all day which means I’m supposed to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN when people call in! 🙄
Me: Sir, I need to know your name to fill out the form, if you don’t tell me, I will be unable to assist you further.
G: Whatever, you’ve been no help at all! It’s my property and I dont want any flags in it so I’m gonna pull them all out!
M: Sir, I advise against doing that since you did not put them there and you do not know what they are for.
G: YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO, BASTARD!
Evidently not. At that point I was checked out of the call, told the guy to have a good day, and hung up. If he wants to remove a couple of flags from his yard go ahead cuz he’s a free American. Just don’t expect there to not be consequences for messing up someones potential dig site.
Those flags are there for a reason people, it’s to make sure the dig crews who put them there know exactly where everything is buried so they dont hurt themselves. I dont know what legal repercussions if any would occur for messing up utility markings, just that it’s a generally bad idea to move and touch things that don’t belong to you.