A few days ago, I received a call from a woman at a local performing arts center asking if I’d like to subscribe to their upcoming season. She called while I was working, so I asked if she could call back the following day after 6pm.
After reintroducing herself as the senior account manager four times, she explained that she was happy to talk to me last week and would be glad to sign me up for next season’s performances.
In turn, I explained that we’d spoken just the day prior, and that I didn’t indicate any interest since I was in the middle of my workday and didn’t have time to hear her pitch. I reminded her I wanted to know more about the upcoming season, their prices and the show dates, so that I could decide.
She seemed flustered, but returned to her spiel and then asked me if I’d gotten her email.
“About what? When?” I asked.
“Well, I don’t know, but it has all of our play information in it,” she said.
“Oh, no I didn’t. What email address was it sent to?” I asked her. She said she didn’t know.
Excellent, moving on.
“Well anyway, you came up in our system as a preferred customer, so we wanted to thank you for being, you know…um, well, preferred,” she said.
I thanked her awkwardly. She giggled nervously.
She circled back to her “preferred” comment, continuing by saying, “What we’re trying to say is that you’re special, and we want to thank you for that. So, thank you for being special.”
[Sidebar: Earlier this week, a number of us at work had our pictures taken by a photographer; they’re going to be on our company website. Midway through my session, the photographer stopped and asked me if I had a lazy eye. I was stunned (because, really, if I did, why ya gotta call me out on it?), but said that I didn’t. She continued, saying, “No, I really think you do.” I said, “No, I’m pretty sure that I don’t.” So I found it interesting and comical that after my lazy eye day, a completely different woman was telling me that I was “special.” Rad.]
I did my best to keep the conversation moving, since by this point the bizarre discussion was exhausting me.
She said that there were nine shows coming up, with five on one stage and four on another.
She rambled off nine show descriptions and, frankly, they sounded pretty cool.
She said all this information that she was running through would be in the email that she would send to me.
She quoted me a price, and it didn’t seem too bad (although it was clearly a single ticket, and I’d need to buy two).
I said, “Wow, that’s a great price for nine shows.”
She snapped back, “No, you’re wrong — that’s for four. Four shows. Only four. And as your senior account manager, you can only get them through me. Just those four shows.”
I was starting to wonder why she was senior. Age? Ability to ramble? That whole “tenure” thing? I also wondered where exactly her managerial skills were hiding.
“Oh, I see,” I said.
“So where do you want to sit?” she asked.
“Excuse me?” I said.
“Your seats,” she said. “In what section can I book your seat for you?”
“Umm…” I began.
“Well, do you like to sit in the middle? Off to the left? The right?” she asked.
“I guess I would normally prefer the middle,” I said.
“Look, I’m not trying to hard-sell you here,” she interjected.
For a moment I wondered if it was someone playing a joke on me.
She kept on. “So aside from the middle, what day do you prefer?”
“As in day of the week for a performance? I guess a Saturday,” I said.
“What time of day?” she asked.
“Evening, preferably,” I told her.
“Well we don’t have that time available,” she replied. She then offered me Tuesday.
(What performing arts center doesn’t have Saturday night play tickets available…? Hm.)
I explained to her that I appreciated her time, but that I’d need to probably decline her offer. Then I told her that I’d just review the email when I received it to see if I’d changed my mind.
“No, you can’t do that,” she said.
“I can’t?” I said. I was beyond confused now.
“No, because you can only get these tickets through me, as your senior account manager,” she sputtered.
“I see,” I said. “Well, then I’m probably going to permanently pass, but thank you so much for your time.”
I could barely get my last word out before she hung up.
Sooooooooooooooo. Tonight I am thankful for surviving my quirky week relatively unscathed. It was plagued by lazy eye accusations, a hard-selling senior account manager, and a missing Office Depot order that turned up stashed in my neighbor’s garage (although my neighbor isn’t Marcos, and his house number isn’t 621, so I’m still not sure who really signed for it even those the Office Depot lady told me that’s the house Marcos lives in). Some things are just a bit too wacky to make proper sense out of, but at the very least, they’re always fodder for writing.