The Duty Officer has many responsibilities to tend to during his or her shift in dispatch.  One of those duties is answering the intercoms posted at various doors to the building.  Several times a night, the buzzer at one or the other of the doors will sound, with someone needing help.  Almost without fail, they are looking for the jail.  Posting signs at either intercom, indicating that each particular door is NOT the jail, and pointing out where one needs to go to find the jail, rarely produces the desired result.  They still buzz, and are still looking for the jail.  Last night, we had one that had me laughing harder than I have for a long time.

“BUUUZZZZZZ”  (they love to hold down that call button)

Duty officer:  “Can I help you?”

Gentlemen at the intercom:  “Yes”.

That’s all.

Just “Yes”.

The Duty Officer stares at the intercom, nonplussed.  After a moment of silence I’m dying of laughter, and it’s spreading through the dispatch center.

The Duty Officer, being the lady and the professional she is, prompts the gentlemen “How can I help you?”, and directs him to his desired destination.

It’s the first time in 17 1/2 years working there that we’ve had someone give a literal response to our question.  They usually launch into a long, drawn out dissertation on why they are there and who they are looking for and what the hell is a ramp and how would anyone be walking up it and which way is north and do you mean to the left and when will they let them out and is this the door to the jail??

Mr. Literal was our visitor last night.  It certainly wasn’t great Albert’s ghost.  But he was a man after my own heart…  I do sometimes love to answer the question asked, instead of the question meant!

Good job, Mr. Literal, and thanks for the laugh!

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