Him: Yeah. I called this morning, and now I'm calling again. See, I met [GK's boss] five years ago at a retreat. And we really hit it off. And now my friend has a book. It's REAL good. It's about [goes on to describe the entire book, which takes slightly less time than my reading it. Okay, it takes about 60 seconds, but it seemed like it. And no, it's not even close to a good fit for us.].
Me: (Wondering when AMD will arrive) Mmm-hmm.
Him: And I sent you a copy a week and a half ago! Why haven't you gotten back to me yet?!
Me: It takes longer than that. Also, I need more information to see if it's been entered in our system--received. See--
Him: I sent it to [wrong address by about two miles], just like your website said!
Me: (Thinking: Actually, our website says to e-mail!) That's not our address. Our correct address, if you'd like to re-send the material, is--
Him: Why don't you just get the person who lives at [other address] to bring the work over to you?
Him: This is vitally important. The author will be in NYC next week! I need you to set up a meeting with [GK's boss]!
Me: She doesn't take meetings with authors she hasn't met.
Him: But I met her!
Me: Now, if you'd like to re-send the material, our address is--
Him: I'm not re-sending it! I'm coming to the city tomorrow!
Me: That really isn't necessary.
Him: I'm coming to the city!
Me: Okay. Then drop it in a postal box in our neighborhood. The mail is fast here. We'll get it in a day or so.
Him: I'm dropping it off!
Me: We strongly discourage authors from doing that-- (All while looking at the clock. Just where is that lipstick?!)
Him: I'M NOT AN AUTHOR! I TOLD YOU--
Me: Yes, you're the author's friend.
Him: Yes! I'm his friend! I met [GK's boss]! We're friends!
Me: (Knowing that my boss mentioned, when she heard the voice mail message, that she did not know him), Mmm-kay. Please hold.
Him: No! This book! I know her! I--
Me: Yeah. Hold, please. (Takes a moment to calm down.)
Him: This book is great! It's about (launches into the pitch again)
Me: I'm sure it is. Please mail us your materials.
Him: I'm dropping it off! I'm not leaving the city until I drop it off!
Me: Okay. I'll make an exception--a big exception--for you. You can leave it downstairs. We're in meetings all day and cannot meet with you.
Him: I'll just leave it with your office--
Him: With your office, and will be (gets all sarcastic) on my way.
Me: Great. Thanks.
Him: But can't I--
And yes. I fully expect that he'll send a note to my boss and tell her that "whoever answers the phone" was very rude and should be taught proper phone etiquette.
It's amazing: obnoxious callers always think that whoever answers the phone is some twenty-year-old gum-smacking type who deserves treatment straight out of, say, Mad Men. At smaller agencies, quite often, it's an agent.
"How did you not lose it?" my boss asked, when I recounted the conversation.
Superhuman patience, I say. I am, officially, Super Woman. With a telephone. Which is probably a cell, since that's better for flying.