Sh*t Crazy Newsroom Callers Say

by - May 19, 2013

The following is an approximation of what is arguably the most awkward phone call I have ever taken at work. It should be noted that it is also a condensed version as this conversation lasted at least 10 minutes.

Caller: "I was calling about a story y'all did a story on identity theft."

Me: (trying to remember the last time we did one) "Do you remember when you saw it?"

Caller: "It wasn't that long ago. Maybe a couple weeks."

Now we're going to fast forward a little bit because the process of actually finding the story, which aired all the way back in October (go figure), lasted at least 5 minutes...

Caller: "The woman y'all interviewed is my wife. (pause) Well, she was my wife. Anyway, she's gone back to her first husband and is using a different name now."

Me: "Are you accusing her of stealing someone else's identity?"

Caller: "No. She's using her maiden name now."

Me: "That's not illegal."

Caller: "Oh. Well, when she was with me she was using a different name."

Me: "Sir, people change their name all the time. It isn't illegal."

Caller: "Oh. Well, I just thought y'all'd want to finish your story."

Me: "And what would the story be?"
(What I was thinking - The story we did 7 months ago?!)

Caller: "Well, she went back to her first husband and has a different name now. And she used a different name when she was with me."

Me: "Sir, that isn't a story. Unless she stole that identity from another person and used it to defraud her and/or you out of money, we're not interested. The original story was that she was a victim of identity theft - not her marital issues. Did she defraud you or anyone else?"

Caller: "No."

Me: "Well, sir, I'm not really sure what you want out of us."

Caller: "Well, I just wanted to tell y'all that she wasn't with me anymore."

Me: (completely at a loss for words) "Oh, ok. Well, thanks for calling, but there's a meeting I need to be at that's starting now without me. Have a good day."

There was no meeting.

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  1. Hi, Ashton! Poor lost souls like that guy are typically the ones who call the newsroom, right? Mainly, they have personal problems and are looking for somebody to tell their troubles to, somebody who will offer sympathy. Since Dr. Phil isn't handy and Dr. Joyce Brothers is now dead, you're elected. It always amazes me how people like that have no inkling of how busy you are and that you are in a time crunch with deadlines to meet. It's the same way when you get somebody in front of the camera for an unscripted interview. Many times they ramble on and on, using up the entire block of allotted time before you can even ask them the important questions. People have no concept of time.

  2. OMFG! what a nut! a lonely nut!!!!!