His Lawyers Should Have The Book Thrown At Them

, , , | Right | December 7, 2013

(I work as a publisher. I get a visit from a very distraught client.)

Client: “Excuse me. I’m really sorry, but I was told you were the head publisher?”

Me: “Yes, I am. How can I help?”

Client: “Well, I’ve been writing stories my whole life. I even written a couple for my children that they love. I’m really good at it and it’s a great passion of mine. It’s my life long dream to make a living as a writer, but nobody will even look at my novel because I’m dyslexic. I know the spelling and grammar isn’t great but I’ve had people spell-check it for me. I just need someone to give me a chance. I know my book will be a hit.”

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear how you’ve been treated. Send me the first few pages of your book, the best scene in the book, preferably around the middle, and the last few pages, and I’ll give them a read.”

(The client thanks me, places the ENTIRE book on my desk, and then leaves. I start to read it later that day, only to discover that not only is the spelling and grammar awful, but so is the book itself. I continue reading much more than I usually do, wanting to believe this man was truly the great writer he claimed to be. The story gets worse and worse the more I read. I read a couple of pages in the middle. Then I skip to the end, only to discover he ended the book with the most despised sentence in the literary world, ‘and it was all a dream.’ Needless to say I wrote him a rejection letter. A few days later I get a message from the receptionist, who is in tears, claiming an enraged man is here, screaming about suing us. I told her to let him in. It was our dyslexic client.)

Client: “What is this?! You told me you were going to publish my book!”

Me: “No, sir. I said I was going to read your book, which I did. I’m sorry but I do not believe it is suitable to be published.”

Client: “That’s bull-s***. My book is brilliant. You have to publish it. There’s no good reason not to.”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but the book’s no good. I can’t publish this.”

Client: “Oh yeah? Name me five reasons why you can’t publish it.”

Me: “Five?”

Client: “Yeah, five. Otherwise there’s no reason your editing team can’t sort it out.”

Me: “Okay. First of all, there is next to no characterisation.”

Client: “What the f*** does that mean?”

Me: “It means that your characters don’t develop in any way.”

Client: “That’s complete bull-s***. What else?”

Me: “Your main character is suppose to be the protagonist and yet has no fatal flaw. He’s perfect.”

Client: “Main characters are supposed to be perfect. That’s why people love them. Hamlet didn’t have a ‘fatal flaw’.”

Me: “Actually, he did. He procrastinated and it resulted in many dying.”

Client: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. And that’s only two.”

Me: “I’m not finished. Three, I know you are dyslexic but almost every sentence needs to be edited. That is too much work for our editor and financially would not be beneficial for the company. Four, you not only use abbreviations in the narration like BTW for ‘by the way’, but you also use words that don’t exist.”

Client: “Like what?”

Me: “Like the word ET. It does not exist.”

Client: “Yeah, it does. I ‘et’ an apple.”

Me: “Ate, sir. You ATE an apple. ‘Et’ is not a word.”

Client: “Fine, but that’s only four.”

Me: “And five, it’s not long enough.”

Client: “How can it not be long enough. It’s well over 100 pages.”

Me: “Sir, the quantity of a book is based on word count, not pages. Your book may be over 100 pages, but with the size of the paper, the size of the font, and also that you start a brand new page every time you start a new chapter, it’s too short.”

Client: “Well, how long does it have to be?”

Me: “The average novel is between 80,000 to 120,000 words. Your novel is just over 16,000. I have nothing against people with dyslexia and there are many great writers who have it. You, however, will not be one of those writers. I can continue to list more things wrong with your novel but I have listed the five you requested. Now I must ask you to leave my office as I am incredibly busy.”

(The client grabs his novel from my hands and storms out. A couple of weeks later we receive a letter from a lawyer suing us for discrimination, claiming that we were not publishing the man’s novel because he was dyslexic. I had our lawyers phone his, explaining the true reasons, and also that our conversation was recorded. We never heard from him after that.)

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Retired & Extremely Dangerous, Part 2

, , , , , , , | Right | December 2, 2013

(My dad and I have just checked out at the supermarket. There are two elderly ladies pushing shopping carts in front of us. They are walking slowly towards the exit. Another customer is walking behind them with her son, who looks about 20. The son is obviously annoyed at the fact that he cannot get past the ladies walking so slowly. He speaks loud enough so that the whole shop can hear him.)

Son: “God, these old people! Always getting in the way. They are useless. They should be locked up so they can’t get in normal people’s way.”

(The son’s mum doesn’t say anything to him, but I can see that my dad is getting angry.)

Son: “They don’t deserve pensions. Let them work until they drop! They probably retired when they were 45 and are leeching off the government.”

(My dad taps the son on the shoulder.)

Dad: “You’re making a scene and upsetting those ladies. Calm it down, would you?”

Son: “They probably can’t even hear me. They’re all deaf anyway. Coffin dodgers! Why do you care if they even hear me?”

Dad: “First, I’m 67 and have worked since I was 16 years old up until my retirement two weeks ago. Second, my parents taught me to respect my elders; something your mother obviously didn’t bother to do, considering I’m giving you the verbal battering she should be. And it’s not those women who should be locked up; it’s misinformed, loud idiots like you.”

(By now the whole supermarket has stopped and is looking over at my dad.)

Dad: “As for leeching off the government: I get a pension, the same as those ladies and thousands of other elderly people do and it’s just over the minimum wage. Sometimes I have to decide between heating my house and eating food! You wait until you get older and retire and see how it feels then to be treated like a second class citizen by obnoxious, mouthy trash!”

(Throughout this whole thing the son has looked shocked. Finally his mother speaks up.)

Mum: “You’re right, totally right. It shouldn’t take a stranger to tell my son his behaviour is terrible.” *to her son* “I am completely ashamed of you. You know nothing about hardship considering you are claiming unemployment money and living rent free in my house. Now apologise to those ladies and to this gentleman.”

(The son says sorry, grudgingly, to all three.)

Mum: “And you see all this food and those DVDs that you wanted and I paid for just now? Well, you won’t get one piece of it.”

(The mum unloads all the food into the old ladies carts and gives the DVDs and a large piece of meat to my dad.)

Mum: “I hope this goes some way to making you feel valued and appreciated.”

(They walk out and the supermarket is silent for a moment. Then one of the old ladies starts to applaud and so does the rest of the customers and staff. The next time my dad went in to get his shopping they gave him £100 worth of coupons, and now all the staff know him.)

 

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Giving You Hell(sinki)

, , , , , | Right | November 26, 2013

(I work in retail, but my shift is over and I am sitting at a café near my work place reading a newspaper. A regular customer of my store, who is always rude and demanding, approaches me. It should be very clear to anyone that I’m not working at the moment, but it doesn’t seem to bother her at all.)

Customer: “I’ve been meaning to ask about your name. Why do you have such an unusual name?”

Me: “It’s a Finnish name.”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “Finland, the country.”

Customer: “Why would you have a Finnish name? Were your parents hippies or something? No wonder you can’t get ahead in life.”

(I ignore the insult, since I’ve seen her throw tantrums from the smallest provocation.)

Me: “My parents are Finns, as am I.”

Customer: “You are not from Finland! You don’t have an accent and you don’t look foreign!”

Me: “Well thank you, but I really am from Finland.”

Customer: “I should have known! You’re here to leech off our welfare!”

Me: “You’ve seen me working, right?”

Customer: “So what? Why would you come here if not for the benefits?!”

Me: “Not that it’s any of your business, but my whole family is living here for a year because of my father’s work. My father wanted that I and my brother come along, even though we haven’t lived with our parents for a few years now. He just wanted us to have the experience and to be near us. He pays for our rent and expenses, but my brother and I decided to get jobs because we know that he is really stretching his funds to make this happen.”

Customer: “A simple question: how much do you get in government hand outs in a month?”

Me: “I haven’t asked for or received a single penny from the British government. And furthermore, if I wanted to live on benefits I would have been better off staying in Finland.”

Customer: “Liar! Finland is a third world communist country and you are all too lazy to do anything about it. You should be trying to better yourself in your homeland, to help it out of the hole it has gotten itself into, not run away to live on OUR money! That’s why you are here, I know it! I am the customer! I’m coming to call your shop tomorrow to make a complaint about you!”

(I want to avoid her coming to the store to complain, because no one wants to deal with her rage fits.)

Me: “Okay, you are right. I’m here to take your tax money and jobs as well. I’m sorry about that, but you know how things are in Finland. We would have starved over there, or we might have been put into prison for our anti-communist views.”

Customer: “Well, I guess it’s understandable in some cases. At least you had the decency to learn our language!”

(She suddenly cheered up and offered to buy me coffee. I declined because I couldn’t think of a more hellish situation than having coffee with her. After that, she always asked for the foreign boy, meaning me, when she came to the store. She was still the rudest and most demanding customer. Lucky me.)

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Good People Are Not Dime A Dozen

, , , , , | Right | June 13, 2013

(I work in my university’s campus shop. I arrive for my shift to find the site in lockdown. There are security guys and people in ‘hi-vis’ jackets everywhere. They check my ID, and let me through, so I think nothing of it. Later that afternoon, one of the ‘hi-vis’ jacketed guys comes to my till with a drink and bar of chocolate. He looks stressed.)

Customer: “Hey, how much for this?”

Me: “£1.10”

(The customer starts rummaging in his pocket.)

Customer: “Oh for f***’s sake; I’ve gone and left my f****** wallet in the truck. I’ve been here since four am, and this is the only break I’ll get! I’ve only got a £1 coin. Leave the chocolate; I’ll just have the drink.”

Me: “Nah, no worries; I’ll spot you the 10p. People leave their change behind all the time.”

Customer: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yeah, positive. You look like you could use it. I hope your day gets a bit better!”

Customer: “Thanks, love! You put a smile back on my face. Bless you!”

(A couple of hours later, the same guy comes back in just as I’m closing up.)

Customer: “Are you closing?”

Me: “Yes, sorry, the till’s already been shut down.”

Customer: “Excellent! If you’ve got 10 minutes, go sit on the wall outside there, and keep quiet, okay?”

(Intrigued, I go sit where he asks, which is just outside the doors of the building. A dark SUV pulls up, and security guards materialise from nowhere and start moving people away. They try to move me on, but the customer tells them that I’m with him, and they leave us be. The next person to come out of the doors is Leonardo DiCaprio, who then gets into the SUV. My mouth drops in shock.)

Customer: “10p for the front-row seat. Can’t say fairer than that, can you?”

(Some months later, I recognise one of my university’s lecture halls in the movie ‘Inception’!)

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The Klass Of 2015

, , , , | Learning | March 12, 2013

(I’m working clearing, which is when we take in calls about students who are in their last ditch effort to get into the university.)

Me: “Okay, that’s fine. I’m going to process your application now. Can I please take your first name?”

Student: “Yes. It’s…” *unintelligible speech*

Me: “Can you please spell that for me?”

Student: “Ugh, if I have to. It’s K…” *unintelligible*

Me: “Okay, can you repeat that for me? It starts with K?”

Student: “Yeah, you know. K as in Chicken.”

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