Thank You For Calling Webster’s

, | Right | March 8, 2008

(I work in a company that sells landscaping materials. You know… rock, dirt, compost, etc. This is a phone conversation I had.)

Me: “Hello, [Company]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hello, I had a question about compost.”

Me: “We have two kinds. Mushroom compost and chicken compost.”

Customer: “Well, I want to know what is compost.”

Me: “The mushroom compost is a mixture of horse manure, peat moss, gypsum, oyster-shell lime, straw, and composted rice hulls. The chicken–” *customer cuts me off*

Customer: “No, I mean…what is compost?”

Me: “Decomposing organic matter?”

Customer: “I see… What do you mean by ‘decomposing organic matter’?”

Me: *wondering if this is a prank call by now* “As in organic matter that is breaking down in a natural process…”

Customer: “What is ‘organic’?”

Me: “Okay. What do you think happens when you throw your coffee grounds, apple cores, and other scraps into a huge pile with animal manure?”

Customer: “…it starts to stink.”

Me: “Because it’s decomposing.”

Customer: “…but what is ‘decomposing’?”

Me: “It’s rotting.”

Customer: “…and we put this in our gardens?”

Me: “Ironic, isn’t it?”

Customer: “Okay, so what do you mean by ‘matter’?”

(I’m sure you can all figure out how this conversation went at this point. Twenty minutes of my life I will never have back.)


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