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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UK Needs UV

| Right | July 13, 2013

(I am working at trade show booth. I have very fair skin and often get remarks about it. I have been chatting with a fellow American customer for nearly 10 minutes.)

Me: “Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the magazine. Did you have any other questions for me?”

Customer: “No, no, thank you! Well, wait … are you British?”

Me: “What? Ah, no… no I’m not.”

Customer: “Really!? But…but you’re so PALE!”

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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Or The Next Day

| Right | September 20, 2011

(It is Monday afternoon and the customer on the phone needs their shipment in a hurry.)

Me: “Since it’s late in the day, shipping will resume tomorrow. Would you like next day or second day shipping?”

Caller: “Next day. I’ll get that tomorrow, right?”

Me: “No, we can ship tomorrow, Tuesday, and you’ll have it on Wednesday.”

Caller: “What about second day?”

Me: “Shipping it tomorrow via second day will get it to you on Thursday.”

Caller. “Wait. Next day is tomorrow. Tomorrow in the next day. Wednesday is two days from now. Why are telling me that next day is really two days from now?”

Me: “Because we will not be shipping until tomorrow. All shipments for today have already left.”

Caller: “Since I can’t get it until Wednesday, just ship it second day. Why pay all that extra money when they will both arrive on the same day?”

Me: “Sir, second day won’t arrive Wednesday.”

Caller: “Yes it will. I’m good at math and I can add! Goodbye!”

(I made a great many notes in his account for whatever poor agent gets him on the phone when his package does not arrive on Wednesday.)

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