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stupid phone call

2003-08-20 - 3:50 p.m.

FROM THE WEALHTHEOW PHONE LOG

W: {Office Name}, this is Queen Wealhtheow.

IDIOT: Hi, is this {magazine name}?

W: Yes it is.

I: I'd like to umm, hmm, yeah, order some copies?

W: Okay.

I: But can you send them rush and we'll pay for them later?

W: Well, we normally require prepayment, but let me see what I can do. When did you need them by?

I: Um, next Monday, but I can't get you check until Friday.

W: Okay, well, first let me make sure I have the issue you wanted in stock.

I: Issue?

W: Yes, which issue were you looking for?

I: Issue?

W: You had wanted copies of {magazine name}, correct?

I: Uh, yeah.

W: Well, I need to know which issue.

I: Issue?

(I saw I had to slow it way down here)

W: We're a monthly magazine. We put out 11 issues a year. So I need to know, for example, whether you want the August 2003 issue, or the Septmeber 2002 issue, or what have you.

I: Oh. Issue. Hmmm. Issue, hmmmm. Let me check.

waiting

waiting

waiting

I: August 2000?

W: I'm sorry, we only carry back issues from the past two years, so that issue isn't available.

I: Oh. So I can't get a copy?

W: Well, the text is available on our website, so you can look at it online.

I: So, I can't get a copy, huh?

W: No, I'm afraid not.

It was surreal. As though she had never heard of the concept of magazine issues in her entire life. I might as well have said "Which catalytic converter were you interested in?" And she was a native English speaker, so there was no chance she would suddenly burst out with "Oh, issue! I thought you said tissue and I thought, I don't need Kleenex, I'm trying to order a magazine!" Then we could have had a droll little laugh. But no, this woman was crystal clear about what word I was saying; she just was compleltely clueless as to the definition.

It was one the scarier phone calls I've received.

 

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