Unfiltered Story #157534

, , , | | Unfiltered | July 11, 2019

Since When Are Lifeless Objects Living Beings?

Knowledge. In some areas you have it, in others you don’t. I happen to know a great deal about sports trivia. One topic I know virtually nothing about, however, is jewelry. This was never more evident than one winter evening early in 1994 when I experienced one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.
Employed by a large company – Suarez Corporation in North Canton, Ohio – in which jewelry was one of its many products, my job was to sell it over the telephone to people across the country who’d purchased jewelry from the firm in the past. After a few weeks on the job, I wasn’t exactly burning the sales charts. In fact, I was probably at, or near, the bottom of the totem pole. I had yet to embarrass myself, though – at least until that one particular evening when I gave the expression “embarrassing moment” new meaning, turned it into an art form, brought it to a higher level.
As always, I received a stack of index cards when the shift began. Each card had the name of the customer and other pertinent information needed to make the call and attempt the sale, such as the patron’s phone number, address, and product(s) he or she last purchased. About an hour into the shift, I came to a card in which the name read, “Porter, James Barbara.” The last jewelry purchased by the Porters read, “Pin, Onyx Opal.” I dialed the number, and after a few rings a woman answered. “Hello?” she said.
My ensuing reply will forever be etched in my mind and quite likely in hers, too. “Is onyx or opal pin there?” I asked.
There was a brief pause, then a chuckle from the woman. Oh my God. I realized what I’d done. I’d misread the card and mistaken “Onyx” for the husband’s first name, “Opal” for the wife’s, and “Pin” for their last name! I’d asked Mrs. Porter if the pins they last purchased were home! How do I get outta this?
Rather than apologize and make a big to-do of the matter, I quickly interjected, “Is James or Barbara Porter there?”
“This is Barbara Porter,” the woman laughed, obviously on to my bewildering blunder. She didn’t buy. … Shocking, isn’t it?

Moral of the story: Don’t be ignorant.