Childish Behavior

| Working | June 9, 2014

(One art director is always very unfriendly.)

Me: “Sometimes, I wonder whether I did something to offend [Art Director], and that’s why she’s always so rude to me.”

(The art director walks by, scowling.)

Boss: “Like what? Killed all her children?”

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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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Resisting A Listing

| Working | October 16, 2013

(It’s my first day as an intern at a magazine publishing company. In order to ensure everything printed is accurate, I call to verify information. Currently I’m calling local business owners listed in our free directory to make sure they offer what we say they offer and they’re still open.)

Me: “Hello. My name is [Name] and I’m calling from [Magazine]. I just wanted to—”

Owner: “No, we don’t want any. I don’t want to pay for anything.”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, it’s a free listing, and I’m just calling to verify—”

Owner: “No! I don’t want to pay for anything!”

Me: “Again, ma’am, this is a free listing. I just wanted to verify some basic information about your business.”

Owner: “I don’t care what you want! I’m not paying for anything!”

Me: This doesn’t cost anything. It’s free. I just want to make sure you’re still located at [address].”

Owner: “I’m not going to tell you that!”

Me: “Ma’am, this is free advertising. If you’ll just let me—”

Owner: “No! I’m not giving you my credit card information!”

Me: “I’m not asking for any of that. I just want to verify your address.”

Owner: “No! I don’t care! I’m not giving you my credit card number or social security number! You’ve already scammed one of my employees!”

Me: “What? No, I just want to verify that you’re located at [address].”

Owner: “No! I’m not listening and I’m not giving you any of my numbers! I’m closing the shop! I’m closing!”

Me: “Oh, are you closing for the day or going out of business?”

Owner: “I’m closing! I’m not giving you my social security number! I’m closing!”

(The owner of the local business hangs up on me. I look over at my supervisor, who’s sitting behind me, confused as to what I should do.)

Supervisor: “She said she was closing?”

Me: “Yeah, after she accused me of trying to steal her social security number. But I don’t know if she meant they were closing for the day or going out of business.”

Supervisor: “Well, if they don’t want free advertising, cut ’em.”

(Two years later, I heard that business closed down for good. Maybe if they would have let us given them free advertising, we could have saved their store.)

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Meeting Can Be Sluggish

, | Working | September 21, 2013

(Our company is an educational publisher, and I am on a team that develops content for biology. The following occurs during a regular team meeting.)

Manager: “Where is [artist]? We invited him to the meeting right?”

Me: “I don’t know, but he’s probably somewhere drawing some snails for me.”

Manager: “Okay, so he’s just slow.”

Coworker #1: “D*** that guy; retreating into his shell.”

Me: “He’s such a slime-ball.”

Coworker #1: “That got salty fast.”

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One Born Every Minute

| Working | July 27, 2013

(My coworker is complaining to me about another coworker. My coworker’s birthday was the day before.)

Coworker: “Seriously though! Does she think I was born yesterday?”

Me: “Well… you were.”

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