The Box : Captioning Capers

Hello Fellow Awkwardites!

This is probably the part where I should apologize for my absence in the past oh, 8 zillion weeks…but I don’t wanna! Instead, I am going to craft a ridiculous excuse, but I’ll try to make it funny. So before you roll your eyes (too late?) Let me explain why I have been a bad blog mom recently.

As much as I would love to exist solely in coffee shops and do nothing but record my random thoughts for your enjoyment, unfortunately, life is cruel, and that means I have to like…be responsible and succeed and junk. Most weeks, my life consists of school, then work, then school work, then work school (wait, what?) ANYWAY, I find that I have very little free time – especially lately.

First, there is school, which apparently I am supposed to sell my soul to in order to graduate or whatever. Naturally, I disagree with this theory, but alas, society thinks otherwise. Plus, my family is pretty amazing, and someday I would like to be able to spoil them as much as they’ve spoiled me, and that requires a certain amount of success/accomplishment/soul-selling…so regrettably, society wins this round.

Beyond school, a vast ,majority of my time goes to The Box. This is the cute little nickname I’ve given my job – because sincerely, I work in a box. It is a lovely box, if you like gray cubicle walls and literally NOTHING else. The job itself isn’t so awful. I can’t tell you too much about it because the clients we work for are super secret spy-ninjas and they like their privacy. Just kidding, They are actually just really really REALLY  old and like their privacy. I work for a company that provides real-life telephone captions for those who are hard of hearing, or who would rather not listen  to people so they just re-read the conversations later instead. (You think I’m joking, I’m not).

Due to the fact that some phone conversations are more private than others, I had to sign a million and two confidentiality agreements in order to work at The Box, so I am not allowed to give you names, or specific details because if I do my boss will show up in my apartment in the middle of the night and stuff me in a trunk and drive into the river with me in it…or maybe I’ll just offend a bunch of old people and lose my job, it’s basically the same thing. HOWEVER, one thing they can’t prevent me from doing is making my job a bit more enjoyable by making it funny. (take that, FCC!)

Naturally, providing real-life captions means that I have to re-voice EVERYTHING I hear the clients say, whether it is appropriate or not. This alone sets me up for some…interesting experiences. In addition, the voice-to-text software we use gets a little confused sometimes, so occasionally even if I say the right words, it guesses wrong, and the result is usually horrifying and/or hilarious, never both.

Over the course of my employment at The Box, I have compiled a list of some of the best (and the worst) captioning errors that have popped up on my screen and deeply confused the octogenarians on the other end of my line. The following is a list of some of my favorites, and also some that were just too gruesome to ignore. Keep in mind, these were all real conversations between two actual people – most of them 80+ year-olds. I hope you enjoy!

CAPTIONING CAPERS ( terrible guesses made by stupid technology that could’ve gotten me fired if I didn’t catch them)

*KEY: The captions that appeared are  in the original sentence, the errors are in bold, and the correct words that should have appeared are in parenthesis

*NOTE: Some of the language that comes up is..less than appropriate. So if you don’t like swear words or references to certain…eh hem, private parts of the human body, don’t keep reading. Also if you are 13 years old and under, don’t show this to your parents or you and I will probably both get grounded.


– “You know, that thing Fat Kelly said?” (that)

– “Ok, well, we just wanted to call and say you suck! Bye bye!” (good luck) (this was a conversation between a 10 year old and his Gramma)

-“We always have to bring our own dope when we travel; those little containers they give you in hotel rooms just don’t cut it. “(soap)

-“Well I finally got my new crotch door installed. It was more expensive than I thought.” (garage)

-“Did you remember to call Bitchy today?” (Richie)

– “Alrighty, Mom, give hell! Love you!” (get well)

– “Thanks Freaky, take care,” (Franky)

– “I’m always in the mood for good rapes.” (ribs)

-“We went out and bought a great big bunch of sweet porn yesterday.” (corn)

-“I go to Nipples to shop all the time.”(Naples)

-“Yeah,he took another job; it pays a… whore or something.” ( uh…more)

-“Don’t forget to take your stripper cassette!” (percocet)

-“I added some excrement to my tea and it tastes much better that way.” (extra mint)

-“It finally stopped raining, spank Bob.” (thank God)

-” Yea, I’ll be home soon but I have to stop and get a full tank of cats first.” (gas)

– Oh kill the kids!” (fiddlesticks)


If you feel a little guilty chuckling at some of these, just imagine how I felt when they came up during one of my calls. Fortunately, I don’t totally suck at my job, so I was able to correct these before they did any damage – but even so, if this isn’t a prime example of how technology is out to make things more awkward for all of us, then I don’t know what is. Spank Bob for quality control! (thank God).

‘Til next time Awkward-teers! I will try to be an actual person and update you on my misadventures on a more regular basis from now on.

Awkwardly Yours,


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