GAACK! (A. k. a. Post Your Embarrassing Phone Story Here)

So I’m sitting around last night composing a handout on passive voice for my freshman English class, as first-time teachers do when they don’t have files and files of these things to fall back on. The phone rings. It’s my SO calling all the way from England. Pleased to be distracted, I settle down for a nice long chat. We get to talking about accents, as we usually do sooner or later, and A. does his best impression of an American. He sounds more like an elderly Irishman who has misplaced his false teeth. He claims he phoned his co-workers – who are all British – pretending to be a temperance missionary from Alabama and they bought it; I tell him that no American would be fooled for a minute.

We continue to swap stories about prank calls until his phone card runs out. Damn, damn, DAMN. I hope against hope that he’ll be able to scrape together enough change to call back, if only to say good night. Sure enough, the phone rings again…

“Is this Mrs. Porpentine?” says a male voice in a strange not-quite-British and not-quite-American accent. (Being married off without my knowledge or consent is one of my pet peeves, and A. knows this.)

“Yes – but you’re not doing it very well, love.”


“I said you’re still not doing it well, sweetheart. You’re not even close.”

“This is Mrs. Porpentine, isn’t it?”

It slowly penetrates my thick head that this is not A. Is it a telemarketer? No. It’s one of my students, who comes from Africa and has a strange, vaguely British-sounding accent. I shall draw a merciful veil over the rest of the conversation.

All right, Dopers, make me feel better. What’s the worst way you’ve ever humiliated yourself over the telephone?

This didn’t happen to me, this happened to my Mom. But it’s funny.

Our old next door neighbor was a plumber, and he was a real close friend of the family’s. My mom was talking to him earlier in the day about something and he was going to call her when he got home. She was sitting in the living room watching TV when she saw his van go by. A couple minutes later the phone rang and she answered it like this:

Mom: “Hey baby. Why don’t you bring your hot snake over here and clean my wet pipes.”

Voice: “Ummm. Mrs. Xxxxxxx, this is Xxxxx, your daughter’s new softball coach. May I speak to you about a fundraiser we’re organizing?”

IIRC, my dad lost it when he saw the look on her face and realized she was talking to someone else. I’m not positive he was there, but I’m pretty sure he was. She composed herself pretty quickly, and I don’t think he ever brought it up again.

Before I started this job that I have now (which requires me to be on the phone often), I only talked to my girlfriend on the phone. A few days after starting, I had to call our HR department about something or other, and when the phone call was done I instictivly said “I love you”. Luckily the callee was good natured and when I explained she just laughed it off… I was scared to death because I had just gotten sexual harrassment training that morning!