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People who call over and over again to ask questions

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Kolchak, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Another fun thing about callers ... they assume the newsroom is fully staffed, 24-7. They'll call at 9:30 p.m. and wonder why the news clerk isn't there to help with an anniversary announcement. They call at 9 a.m. and demand to speak to the sports editor.

    And of course on weekends, they assume that the majority of the news staff, from the ME on down, is working, rather than the 2-3 person skeleton crew that's actually there.
    garrow likes this.
  2. PaperClip529

    PaperClip529 Active Member

    Or by clicking on the story they are commenting on.
    Old Time Hockey and SFIND like this.
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I’m pretty sure I told this story here before, but one Friday night, when I was a one-man sports staff, I got a call around 9:30 at night from a local funeral director, who demanded to know what time the presses started rolling. I told him at midnight. He said it was plenty of time for him to get an obit to us because the funeral was on Sunday (we didn’t have a Sunday paper) and it needed to run in Saturday’s paper.

    I told him that we couldn’t run it because the obits page was already designed and ready for pre-press, and besides, the community editor had already gone home and there was nobody to type it in (pre-Internet era) or re-design the page.

    He demanded I do it, and when I told him I couldn’t because I had a sports section to finish. He melted down and demanded our publisher’s home phone number, which I refused to give. He finally hung up.

    Monday rolls around, and the publisher comes up to me, tells me he talked to the funeral director earlier in the day when he called the office to complain about me, and that he’s known he guy was an ass for 20 years.
  4. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    When I did listings, I'd always list which network a game was on, unless it was something specific to a local channel, like the high school football game of the week. Between over-the-air, satellite and cable, too many systems to keep track of which channel is where. So one Friday afternoon a woman calls asking which channel CBS Sports Network is, since they're carrying the Fresno State game on Saturday.
    Me: I don't know where it is on your system. Have you called your service provider?
    Caller: Oh, do they know what channels they have?
    Me: (deep sigh) Yes, they know what channels they carry.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Yup. I was essentially the weekend editor at my last two stops so I'd hear them all, from someone demanding an immediate retraction for something in the police blotter to putting in a classified ad for a lost pet. I was convinced we should have a ready room, like when medical interns pull 36-hour shifts, with bunk beds in the conference room, so whenever someone called, someone would be there.
  6. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    Sometimes they show up in person at 9 a.m. demanding to speak to the sports editor.
  7. Kolchak

    Kolchak Active Member

    One time a woman called us for TV info because she didn't want to bother her cable provider by interrupting their work. She said that.
  8. bumpy mcgee

    bumpy mcgee Well-Known Member

    We had a guy in the pressroom who would always call on deadline asking for WNBA scores and then rattle off other time-consuming questions.
    One night I told him to call back in about a half hour, he told me he couldn't because that's when they would be busy running the paper. I told him exactly and hung up.
    HanSenSE and MTM like this.
  9. spadjo martin

    spadjo martin Member

    I had a lady call one morning at 10 a.m. telling me I screwed up the TV listings - that the Braves weren't playing that night like I had listed because the game was on TV right now.
    I told her that was impossible because they were playing in Arizona. She argued and told me we always had the schedule screwed up.
    I turned on the TV in the department and yep, she was watching the replay from the game the night before. I told her it was the replay and she said, "Go to hell." and hung up.
  10. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    That’s priceless.
  11. Kolchak

    Kolchak Active Member

    We used to get the occasional call upset that we listed an event incorrectly because it wasn't on TV like we said it was. The reason it wasn't on TV was because it got rained out.
    Baron Scicluna likes this.
  12. Old Time Hockey

    Old Time Hockey Active Member

    Should have offered to wager her on the outcome.
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