The very last question I ever expected to be asked is this: Are you a woman?
My tale begins with a simple email from a guest inquiring about a location’s store number from a certain “restaurant company” on wouldn’t-you-like-to-know highway and even includes a zip code in case I didn’t know which of my locations is on this highway.
(Comments/questions/everything for 17 restaurants go through me first… It’s interesting to say the least.)
The way it’s asked, I know English isn’t this person’s first language. And they’re ALL CAPPING ME IN CASE I NEED THE EXTRA CLARITY.
In the DC area, this sort of thing is pretty common. We have a fabulous melting pot of all sorts of personalities. Lots of characters to choose from.
Anywhoodles, I’m thinking the question is simple enough. They want the phone number. No problem.
G’day (Oh, man, the name is strange and I have no clue if this person is male or female…I hate it when that happens.) *types first name & crosses fingers they aren’t offended by my non-formal salutation*
The location’s phone number is ***-**-****.
Have a Bonzer Day,
Assistant to Awesome-Sauce Boss of Many Awesome-Sauce Restaurants.
It’s long after my workday should have ended, and truthfully, I’m playing around with something on my laptop on the same desk. Yes, I’m a nerd and like to be surrounded by the love of all my gadgets. But since the email is up and the answer won’t take but 30 seconds, why not? Reply. Done.
I don’t mean the store phone number. I mean the Actual restaurant’s number
five digit area code number.
Okay. First, yes, they capped the A in actual. I know a non-English speaking guy who quotes his name in every email. This is not the most shocking thing I’ve seen, though it gives my inner editor the shivers.
Second, if this person—let’s call them Pat—if Pat meant zip code, the only 5-digit number there is in regards to this location, Pat already had it because Pat was kind enough to include it in the original email. I included the area code in my reply. So I’m basically stuck trying to decipher Sanskrit in the guise of English. Sadly, this is not my first time.
Sorry. Now I’m confused, lol. (And I am laughing, by God. At this point, the ridiculousness of the situation calls for laughter or an English lesson, am I right?) Here’s all their info:
*inserts every last drop of location’s information all the way down to their email and fax #*
A thank-God-that’s-over Assistant to blah blah blah.
I’m back on my laptop, happily typing away on something, enjoying the click of my nails against the keys when I hear it. The Exchange blo-BLOOP of an incoming email.
No. It can’t be. But my gut says, Oh but it is… In the slowest possible increments, I turn toward the email and by George, Pat’s back.
It’s just a thank you, I tell myself. Yet that feeling persists. The one that says IT’S NOT OVER.
Are you a woman ?
Oh. Mmmy God.
My first question is, Did Pat read my mind?!?!
Then I return to my senses and scan the emails to be sure my automatic signature is in fact included in my replies. It is. THEN I wonder, Do I have a PAT name?!?! No. Surely not. I don’t meet a lot of Mistys, but when I do, they’re definitely female. It’s not like my name is Ashley and my mom was that big of a Gone With the Wind fan. (Never mind that my youngest sister’s name is Ashley or that my husband’s middle name is IN FACT Ashley from GWTW. Thanks for that, Jean.)
*hits reply with shifty eyes*
Yes. (I’m done with salutations at this point, yo.)
Only responding to see where the hell you could be going with this Assistant to My Boss is Probably Reading This Odd Correspondence on his Crackberry RIGHT NOW.
I don’t even bother with shifting back to my other task at this point. I mean, why bother? I HAVE TO KNOW THE SECOND THE ANSWER COMES IN.
THREE MINUTES LATER:
You sound young. I could tell from your grammar. no older woman would have written the phrase (lol) lol
THIS IS BECAUSE I TYPED LOL?!?!
Okay, I nearly replied. NEARLY. But decided this shiz had to end right the feck there. With the bad grammar and the oddest compliment a woman of my age box has ever received. I mean, Pat and I were swiftly becoming friends and I was gonna have to make it my life’s mission to correct somebody’s grammar and it sure as hell wasn’t MINE.
So, Pat, whoever and wherever you are, if you’re reading this, thanks for the good times. While short, they were
interesting weird strange as hellsweet. Please feel free to hit me back up whenever you’re in the need for a good LOL, and I’ll do the same.
Drinker of Too Much Coffee and So Gonna Put You in my Next Novel