Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)
TITLE: Hello, Joe!
By Beth Muehlhausen
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(pause - then the other party picks up)
Hello? Is Mr. Lucas at home?
I’m sorry, he’s not, but I can take a message for you.
Are you the lady of the house?
Actually, I’d be happy to take a message.
Well, I just bet you’re Mrs. Lucas (chuckle); there’s no message, m’am. My name’s Joe, by the way. But I’m sure sorry to have missed Mr. Lucas. You see, he’s been buying our light bulbs and air freshener for quite a while and …
Hello, Joe. I’m sorry to interrupt, but we have a closet full of light bulbs and air freshener … enough for an army …
But m’am, you know we have some special new products this time, and every item you buy goes to benefit the blind workers who have no other way to make an income. Let me tell you about our t-shirts.
Joe, I’m really not interested in t-shirts. You see, our financial situation has changed and we’re really cutting back on our contributions …
I’m not asking for a handout, m’am. Do you buy Christmas gifts for your children? These t-shirts make really nice Christmas gifts.
Now Joe, I don’t want to sound rude, but I’m just not interested in buying anything from you today.
Does Mr. Lucas still like to go fishing, m’am? He told me once he’d spend all his time on the water if he could. Well, we blind folks can’t really fish too well, but don’t you think Mr. Lucas might like one of our t-shirts with a custom logo about fishing for Father’s Day, m’am?
You’re a great salesman, Joe, I’ll give you that! I’m afraid I’m going to have to hang up on you … I simply am not going to buy anything today.
Ah shucks, Mrs. Lucas, don’t do that! Mr. Lucas and I always have such nice conversations. I mean it gets lonely when you’re blind – I love talking with my customers. How are those grandkids, anyway?
You know about my husband’s interest in fishing … AND you know about our grandchildren? HOW … um … WHAT do you know about our grandchildren?
Why, Mr. Lucas told me all about that young sports star and the new baby girls …
He did WHAT?
We’re just friends, m’am.
How do you know my husband?
I sell him air freshener and light bulbs, just like I said, m’am.
Joe, I don’t know who you really are or what you really want, but it is time for us to say good-bye.
Well m’am, I didn’t mean to upset you or anything.
What company do you represent? Just in case I want to investigate?
I know it’s not usual for people who know each other only on the phone to care about each other, m’am, but your husband always seemed to like me and be interested in my life so I just returned the favor. I’m sorry you’ve been offended today – really sorry. My company is “Helping Hands” – you can find us online if you want. There are phone numbers there and everything.
Well … I don’t know what to think … I mean these days you just don’t know whom you can trust.
Of course, m’am, I understand. I always depend on my guide dog to growl if he thinks someone ornery is about to take advantage of me – ha! But then you don’t have a guide dog now do you, m’am …
Well no, of course not …
Of course not.
I think I’d better let you go, Joe. I’ll tell my husband you called.
If you decide you need any light bulbs or air freshener or our new t-shirts with the custom logos – remember they make great Christmas gifts – just give me a call, okay?
My number is 598-490-1793. Or toll free is 1-800-483-6482.
Thank you, Joe.
And there’s just one more thing, Mrs. Lucas.
What’s that, Joe?
I don’t blame you for not wanting to do business with me. It’s all right – so after we hang up, don’t feel bad you didn’t buy any of my stuff this time. Mr. Lucas has already helped us out so much … he’s such a great guy.
Okay … thanks, Joe.
Talk to you later, m’am.
Goodbye, Joe. It was … well … very nice … to meet you …
Thanks … nice to meet you as well. Bye now!
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