Put Them In A Scam Jam

, , | Legal | March 15, 2019

(I work at a book self-publishing company. Recently some letters have gone out notifying authors that they have money in their accounts that they can use. A man calls our post-sale department and gets one of my coworkers. I only hear half of the conversation, but she fills me in on the rest later.)

Caller: “Hi. I’m calling to change the deposit information for my account.”

Coworker: “Okay, sir, and what’s your name?”

Caller: “[Unisex Name].”

(A person by that name happens to be an author featured on our website.)

Coworker: *hesitating* “Um, sir, do you have the authorization to do this?”

Caller: “What are you talking about? I’m [Unisex Name]. I want to withdraw my credit. Quit hoarding my money.”

Coworker: “Sir, I’m afraid I can’t continue this call with you.”

Caller: “What? Why not?”

Coworker: “Well, because [Unisex Name] is a girl, and she’s giving me a really weird look right now. She works here.”

(The caller hung up immediately. We all got a kick out of a person trying to scam funds out of an account that belonged to an employee.)

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The Next Great American Novel Is An Everyday Thing

, , , | Right | April 5, 2018

(I work at the corporate office of a retail chain and publisher. We get product submissions all the time, but they’re SUPPOSED to be done electronically. The buyers never do walk-ins; they just don’t have time.)

Lady: “Hi, I’ve written this novel, and it’s the most amazing story. I’d like for you guys to publish it.”

Me: “Okay, great. You’ll need to submit the manuscript electronically through our website.”

Lady: “Yeah, I know that’s what you’re supposed to tell me, but I know how this goes. Only really dedicated authors get to see the publishers, right? Well, I’m dedicated! So, you can go ahead and give me the green light to talk to them.”

Me: *sighs* “I promise you, that’s not the case at all. In fact, you’re hurting your chances of being considered by being difficult about this. Please go through the proper channels, and you’ll hear back from a buyer soon.”

Lady: “So, here’s my five-minute pitch.” *gives me a FIFTEEN-minute pitch, outlining every detail of her book*

Me: “I’m just the receptionist. Seriously, I have no say with the publishers, so I’m not the one you needed to tell that to.”

Lady: “Fine. Let me talk to a publisher!”

Me: *knows they never pick up their phone, so tries just to humor her* “Sorry, they’re not available.”

Lady: “Okay, fine, I’ll leave this here for them. Oh, but first can you take a picture with me in front of your company sign? This is my first time being published!”

Me: *takes the photo, just hoping she’ll leave* “Okay, I’ll see that they get this. Good luck.”

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Nic U Too

| Right | January 20, 2017

(The customer is proofing a write-up I put together for her.)

Customer: “Change the ‘an’ to ‘a’ before ‘NICU nurse.’”

Me: “’An’ is technically correct in this context; use of a/an is determined by the vowel sound at the beginning of a word/abbreviation/acronym, not necessarily the letter itself. Since ‘NICU’ is traditionally pronounced ‘en-eye-see-you’ we would use ‘an.’ However, if we wrote out the whole thing, it would be ‘a neonatal intensive care unit.’”

Customer: “I pronounce it ‘nic-u’ so change it to ‘a.’”

Me: “…seriously?”

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Searching In The Search Engine

| Right | January 3, 2017

(I get a phone call from an author trying to submit his manuscript through our online system. The link for our submissions is kind of small and easy to miss, and elderly authors especially have difficulty with it, so I’m used to these kinds of calls.)

Me: “Okay, sir, so you entered [Company].com, correct?”

Caller: “Hang on.” *I hear him typing very slowly* “W… W… W… Dot… [Company]… Dot… C… O… M… Enter. Okay.”

Me: “Great! Now if you’ll scroll to the very bottom of the page.”

Caller: “Hang on.” *I hear him scrolling* “Okay.”

Me: “You should see a link that says ‘Guidelines for Authors.’ Do you see it?”

Caller: “No…”

Me: “Oh. Um… Do you see where it says ‘Store Locator’ in bigger letters? It’s right beneath that. I know it’s kind of small.”

Caller: “There’s no ‘Guidelines for Authors’ there.”

(I’m really confused why it’s not displaying on his page, so I spend a good fifteen minutes trying to walk him through it again, checking with IT to see if there have been problems, and repeatedly testing the site on my end.)

Me: “Okay, I can’t figure out why your page doesn’t show it. What DO you see?”

Caller: “It says ‘Help,’ ‘Send Feedback,’ ‘Privacy,’ and ‘Terms.’”

Me: “Huh? What is there right above that?”

Caller: “A blue ‘G,’ a red ‘O,’ a bunch of yellow ‘O’s…”

(That’s when I realized that he’d just entered our site address into the Google search bar and not actually clicked on the link. It didn’t even occur to me that I’d need to be THAT specific with my directions!)

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Doesn’t Understand The Modern Layout Of Society

| Working | April 12, 2016

(My manager is well-known for being passive-aggressive and for giving people he isn’t pleased with unpleasant assignments in place of actually talking to them about the issue. I’m well-known around the office for being devoutly religious in a very conservative sect.)

Coworker #1: “You must’ve ticked [Manager] off.”

Me: “Oh? Why?”

Coworker #1: “He’s assigned you to work with [Coworker #2] on book layouts. [Coworker #2] is hideously anal on those layouts. Not to mention, well, you know…”

Me: “Gay. Yes, I’d noticed.”

Coworker #1: *laughs* “Yeah. Good luck.”

(Fast forward six weeks: Coworker #2 and I are hitting it off and banging out the layouts in record time. Cue my manager glaring at me.)

Manager: “You seem to be doing well.”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, we are. It’s wonderful to finally work with someone who appreciates the amount of effort that goes into making these books look right. Do you know how hard it is to find someone who can take instruction and criticism without getting his panties in a wad?”

Manager: “And there hasn’t been any problems, with, uh… his religious beliefs?”

Coworker #2: *raises eyebrow* “Should there be?”

Manager: “Uh, no…” *wanders off*

Me: “Think we should explain to him that my brother’s gay?”

Coworker #2: “Nah, let the jerk stew.”

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