"Well, I wanted to talk to you in person," I said. "And now that I have you on the phone, let's talk about this exciting business offer!" I couldn't believe how smooth I was—"this exciting business offer" wasn't even in the training manual script.
"Let's not," said the shipping manager.
I decided to try catalog companies. The first one I called, for a company that sells stylish clothes for women who prefer elastic waistbands, actually put me through right away to the shipping manager. I gave my spiel.
"We have a company that audits all misdeliveries and late deliveries," he said.
"You do?" I said. Could it be that Refund Recovery was a legitimate business? Could Dallas college student George Milovic have gotten here first?
"Yes. It's a download that goes straight to them. We're very happy with it."
I managed to ask him the name of this wonderful service, but he didn't know, and the guy who did was away. I hung up with a new sense of purpose, which was quickly shattered by all subsequent phone calls.
"We don't do a lot of shipping. What we do we have no problem with, so I don't know where you got your information." Click.
"I handle all that, but thanks for calling." Click.
"If things are late, we let them know, and they don't charge us." Click.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.