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Calls from "unbalanced" people.Your weirdest call?


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I've been at this job long enough to realize that a certain percentage of the calls which I get are from people who aren't exactly playing with a full deck. It's a very small percentage, of course, but it's decidedly there. Most of them seem pretty harmless, but sometimes you have to wonder what "reality" these people really experience.

Here's today's example: I got a call from an elderly sounding woman who very politely asked me what could be living inside her mattress and wiggling around while she slept. She said that it felt like a large snake. After listening to about 10 minutes of her oddly interesting but altogether disjointed ramblings I politely told her I had no idea what her problem might be. I suggested that she call the rental property inspector for the city. (After all, he gets paid a salary for this sort of thing. I don't.) She thanked me and hung up.

I'm sure that if I get these sorts of calls then you guys must get them also. Anyone want to share their experiences?

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I had a nut job several years back that was "fascinated" with the tone of my voice on my answering machine. She'd call and leave messages, waxing rhapsodic about how wonderful I must be. She never left a call back number.

Innumerable calls about weird smells, with them trying to explain the smell to me on the phone.

Had one where they were looking for someone to determine if I had a "poltergeist detection" add-on service. They were serious, or at least they sounded serious.

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I had a woman call and ask if I could find the door the the roof of her apartment. It seems the neighbor kids would go up there and make a ton of noise, but she couldn't figure out how to get up there to stop them.

Another wanted me to come and "clear creek" her house.

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I had one recently where they were in the midst of divorce. She suspected the husband was getting into the house while she was away at work and screwing the place up.

Wanted the full inspection to confront him with and accuse him. I declined to get involved.

Smart move. Some times "no" is the best answer.

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The "I have a smell in my home" or "I moved in my home a few years ago and now I'm sick"

Actually there are quite a few instances where those complaints are legit. Those can be really interesting jobs because you're not going in with the same old H.I. routine. They involve an investigative approach that looks at conditions from many angles. What I have often found is for those who have reached out for help from the medical professions that they are very seldom asked about their home or work environments. Doctors generally are not trained to consider such possibilities.

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A few weeks ago, I did a job for a medical professional, an allergist/researcher/pediatrician at Lurie Children's Hospital. He was kind enough to talk to me a bit about his profession, diagnosing allergies and ailments of young children.

He described how they look at environmental conditions, and the training involved.

Where does the idea that doctors aren't trained to consider environmental possibilities come from?

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