When you first start taking 999 calls you take them very seriously. You imagine saving lives by the dozen on a daily basis. Sadly, after 6 weeks on intense training, you find yourself listening to either little bastard kids telling you their balls are on fire with their friends laughing in the background, or people who haven't taken their pants off shagging having dialled 999 with their ass. Only about 1 in 20 calls are actual emergencies. I received my first final warning for telling a group of children in a phone box (claiming to have the usual inflamed scrotum) that I could see them and knew where each and everyone of them lived. Unbeknownst to me my employers were 'monitoring' me at the time or 'spying' on me in other words. They said threatening children was not professional. Anyway, a further 6 final warnings followed for similar offences, not all involving children I might add before my 9th and final final warning... the one I could not talk myself out of. Worse than little satanic children and overly enthusiastic lovers were people ringing who did not need the emergency services at all but had complaints which they had blown hugely out of proportion... Milk had been stolen for their door step, their taxi was late or, in this case, a gentleman who was receiving a large amount of overseas sales calls. Being a racist lunatic he told me that each and every time he received one of the calls from India he had to take apart his phone with a screwdriver and clean every part individually to, as he put it, 'wash the foreign off it.' I tried to remain calm die to my precarious status with regards to warnings but informed him that this was not a life and death emergency and the police, ambulance, fire brigade and coastguard would offer little support. I also told him that there were a queue of people waiting who may actually need life saving help. He said that didn't matter and that I should 'deal with these bloody filthy jungle bunnies' for him. A combination of racism and inaccurate bigoted slurs pushed me just a bit too far. I told him to calm down and that it could be worse. 'At least your balls aren't on fire' I assured him. 'What?' he screamed in reply. 'Your balls sir. Are they on fire?' 'What the, what?' I could hear him nearly choking on his own misguided rage. 'It's just that there's been an apparent outbreak of flaming ball syndrome. Thank God you've escaped it.' I then told him to invest in a lead-lined jock-strap to protect himself further. It was at this point he demanded to know my name and location and I told him I was 'On top of a mountain, and you wont be invited.' I then cut him off and my manager came out from the monitoring room with a face so red it looked as though it had a molten core. Time for a new job.
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