4 Nov 2004

Karma Police – arrest this man

John Three, or Moomin Papa, exudes ‘bad vibes’. I don’t know what is wrong with him, but he’s been ‘on one’ for months now. I suppose I could ask him what’s the matter, but he might tell me and if he tells me, I’ll have to do something about it and I can’t be arsed. It’s not a management approach I’d advocate for everyone, but it works for me.

His glumness is spreading to the customers too.

I had to get my headset out of its velvet-lined box to actually speak to customer.

He was a screamer. He was so loud my headset muff rattled. He may have been schooled in my master-class, using a combination of aggression and tenacity, and had managed to see off three different levels of operators, however he had made a fundamental flaw: he’d phoned the wrong number.

He was complaining about the rising price of his electricity bill and try as I might I could not convince him that I couldn’t help him.

“I want compensation!” he screamed in a bizarre west-country accent. I wasn’t sure whether or not it was a wind up and I was being broadcast across Devon by an afternoon show on Cream Tea FM so I was cautious at first explaining that he would have to make a case for compensation. “I’ve been on this call for twenty minutes. My time is money.”

He’d spent twenty minutes asking for compensation so I could hardly compensate him for not getting compensation.

He insisted on speaking to the ‘organ-grinder’ and not the monkey. Bernard (busily grinding organs in his office) agreed to send fifty quid to the guy to avoid messing up his hair with a headset.

John Three seemed to make a careful note of the incident.