He Sounded Like He Had a Beard

This happened many years ago, in a previous job. There were a lot of us, all in one big room, all answering the phone. Technical support call centre. Occasionally a caller wanted to speak to someone they’d talked to earlier, so we’d find out if that person was free, and put the caller through.

I took one of those calls. But there was a problem. The customer didn’t know the name of the person they wanted to speak to. There were around 50 people in there, almost all male. The customer told me “This is going to sound odd, but he sounded like he had a beard.”

If correct, that would make things a lot easier – only a couple of people had beards. I went to the first, and asked if he’d spoken to this person, but he hadn’t. Before trying the second bearded bod, I realised something. These were phone calls. They didn’t have a beard, they sounded like they had a beard. Who sounded like they had a beard? Bob. Clearly. Bob was clean-shaven, but he did sound like he had a beard. So I went and asked.

Yes. It was Bob. So I went back and put the customer through. And told Bob he sounded like he had a beard.

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