A suicidal man connected to a Samaritans-style helpline in Sweden was left pondering his options when the priest at the other end fell asleep and started snoring down the line.
The tired-out cleric passed out five minutes into the depressed man’s phone call as he spoke about ending it all.
But the response of the clergyman to his woes made him angry rather than depressed and he decided to live on.
This week he told a local newspaper in Kalmar; ‘It’s not acceptable for a priest to fall asleep in the middle of a call; this should not happen when you call up in search of help.
‘I felt bad and wanted to kill myself, but I pulled myself together and made the call. I am very disappointed.’
The man was routed automatically to the pastor on a helpline after he dialled emergency services at 2.00am Friday morning saying he was feeling ‘psychologically unstable’.
Swedish news website The Local.Se reported; ‘After having talked to the pastor for a while, the troubled soul began to get the feeling that he was talking to himself.’
‘I thought maybe he was taking notes,’ the man said. ‘So I asked: “Are you taking notes?”
‘I could hear his heavy breathing before he woke up. He stayed awake for just a few more minutes before slipping off again into slumber.’
The desperate man then made one more try to speak with a counsellor but was placed on hold for ten minutes so rang off.
According to Monica Eckerdal Kjellstroem, responsible for Church of Sweden duty pastors, it is not the first time this has happened.
‘This sort of thing should really not occur, but it does sometimes happen that people call and report that the pastors have fallen asleep,’ she told The Local.se.
She promised to fire anyone in future who could not stay awake long enough to help callers.