Pictured: me, not dealing with crazy people
So. I answer the phone for the Orange County Beekeeper's Association. People mostly call because they have bees in their yard they want someone to come remove immediately and they want it done for free; then there's a lot of bots that as soon as I pick up greet me with "please do not hang up the phone!" or "you will want to take this call!" and I really can't hang up fast enoug; and then there's the humans who call and want to speak to "the owner of your business or advertising manager" to which I try to invoke withering coldness in my voice as I inform them "this is not a business, this is the Orange County Beekeepers ASSOCIATION, we do not have an owner, and we do not take out advertising"; and very occasionally it's actually a person with a real reason to be calling us. Anyway, here's a particularly crazy lady who called me today:
Me: "Orange County Beekeeper's Association"
Her: "Hi this is ____ from the city of _____ and I have bees dying by the lamp in my back yard and we all know they can't see in the dark so how are they flying to my lamp and dying there? [five minutes of mostly completely irrelevant exposition before I can get a word in]"
Me: "The bees are flying to your light and getting dehydrated as they try to crawl on it and dying."
Her: "But how are they getting to the light? They can't see in the dark!"
Me: "Do you leave the light on at night?"
Her: "yes but it's completely dark all around"
Me: "Well that light is the only one they see so they fly to it"
Her: "but it's completely dark out"
[Me thinking: WTF is wrong with you?]
Me: "Well they can see that light from as far away as you can. If they have a line of sight they can see it a mile away. They fly to the light, they dehyrdate and die"
Her: "Well it never happened before"
Me: "You probably didn't have a bee colony located nearby before"
Her: "No that can't be it I've always had bees all over the flowers here"
Me: "That doesn't mean they lived there. They'll fly three miles to visit flowers."
Her: "No I think it's pesticides that are killing the bees"
Me: "Bees killed by pesticides would be dead all over, they would not be flying to your light to die"
Her: "No it's not the light"
Me: "The bee death you are observing is directly connected to the light, you can't argue that there's not a connection between the light and the dying bees."
Her: "I can't believe you don't care about the dying bees. I thought you would care about the bees dying" (!!!)(she is starting to sound very argumentative )
Me: "I do care about bee health but I'm telling you from my knowledge of bee behavior they fly to lights they can see at night and die under them. I get calls about it regularly, I see it at my own house, from my experience that clearly is what is going on here."
Her: "No it's definitely not the light"
Anyway, that's not even the half of it, and I remember it began with quite a bit of "the lamp is killing the bees" "no it's not" "yes it is" kind of back and forth. My coworker Jeremy was so amused by the whole thing he actually started videoing me on his camera-phone. I think it ended with her saying she was going to call someone else, in a huff.
But then this came in the mail today so I guess it's not entirely thankless ;)
And this afternoon I helped someone move a colony of bees from his composter into a hive box we provided him (sold him at cost). The bees were a super gentle exposed colony which had been in the composter about a month, just lightly smoked them and didn't have to suit up at all. The guy was really excited about it. Its fun things like this that make up for the crazy people.
But lest you start thinking I'm too nice, here's one more picture from today:
My coworker hates pickles and onions (?!?!) but loves altoids, and asked me to get her "both" flavors of altoids when I said I was stopping by 7-11. It's also a running joke that I always get her order wrong if I go pick up lunch, so I had to use my creativity to get this "order" wrong.
Disclaimer: to all you trolls who are just waiting to tell me not to "feed the trolls" again, I consider you to be trolls.