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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Forgive The Pun(tang)

, , , , , | Right | December 5, 2013

(I am working as a phone operator at the hospital. Usually people call me and I connect them to different parts of the hospital.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Hospital]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah. Can you connect me to the ‘vaginacologist’ please?”

(I knew what she wanted but was stunned because I have never heard anyone say that before.)

Me: “You mean, the gynecologist office?”

Caller: “I don’t know what they are called. Whoever is in charge of looking at my ‘hoo haw!'”

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Butting Against A Culture Clash

, | Learning | December 2, 2013

(I teach English in Japan. I am walking to my classroom when I hear giggling coming from inside. I see one sixth-grade aged boy burst from the darkened room and run off to another classroom. I assume that some students are roughhousing in there. I proceed to walk into the classroom and turn on the lights. I see two of my male students on the floor. The larger has not only pinned the smaller to the floor, but has pulled his pants down and is spanking his bare butt. They had been laughing, but everyone freezes the moment the light turns on.)

Smaller Student: “Let’s go.”

(I try to start teaching like nothing had happened. Later, I ask an older Japanese teacher about what I should do.)

Older Teacher: “Were they having fun?”

Me: “Yes…”

Older Teacher: “Oh. Okay, then.”

(The older teacher was not phased, or bothered by the incident, as if it were a normal occurrence. I guess that the moral of the story is that consent is more important than propriety, although I still refused to go anywhere near that spot for the rest of the day!)

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One Day It Will Make Scents

, , , , | Related | November 20, 2013

(I am driving my eight-year-old daughter to school early in the morning when a news story comes on the radio station.)

Radio: “The bodyguard of [Famous Singer] is suing because she farted in his presence.”

Daughter: “Oh, my God! Why would she do that to that man’s presents?”

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Sorry, I Canada Understand You, Part 2

, , , , , | Working | November 20, 2013

(I’m in Montréal visiting my grandparents. I don’t know enough Quebecois to have a full coherent conversation. Since most employees can speak both Quebecois and English, I usually start the conversations in English to avoid any complications. I walk into a clothing shop and one of the employees approaches me, speaking very quickly in Quebecois.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m only fluent in English. Were you telling me about the sales?”

Employee: *to cashier* “UGH, mon dieu! Crisse de cave. Petite cave…”

(This roughly translates into ‘Oh, my god, what a little idiot.’)

Me: “But I do know enough to ask for your manager. Or should I say, ‘Je ne suis pas un peu idiot! Où est votre gestionnaire?'”

(The employee turned beet red and retrieved a manager, who apologized profusely for her language. He offered me one free accessory from the sale rack, and said he will remind his staff to assume that primarily English tourists might know some basic French!)

 

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