Have you ever had an experience where you are quite certain you must be dreaming? Even though you are talking and breathing and hearing and belly laughing on the inside, you are sure that this can't seriously be happening.
Well, I had just such an experience today. I hope I can do it justice here because it definitely bears repeating. If for no other reason than we can always use a good laugh. And, this, my faithful readers, is a GOOD, maybe even a GREAT, laugh.
Let me begin with a bit of back story: Normally, Wednesdays are my day off, which worked out great today because the kids and Jeff had a snow day and I was looking forward to getting a lot of things done around the house. Enter a voice mail from my boss, who returned Monday night from two weeks of roughing it in Hawaii, asking me if I could possibly come in today. He had a family emergency and needed me to handle some things in the office. I was happy to go, but needless to say, my day wasn't going to go the way I had hoped or anticipated.
So.......a few hours later I am sitting at my desk making some headway with all I needed to accomplish, and the phone rings. I answered it like I always do, "Good afternoon, Steve Cook's offices" and it was all down (a very large) hill from there.
Caller: Hello, I got an e-mail today from you about a conference Steve Cook is doing on March 9.
Jen: Yes. But the conference is on March 19-20.
C: Well, then would my money be due on March 9?
J: No, you would have to pay with your credit card when you sign up online.
C: So, I have to pay before the conference on March 9?
J: Yes, you pay online when you sign up, and the conference is March 19-20, not March 9.
C: Oh, well I must have the dates mixed up then. Is March 19 a Wednesday?
J: No, it's a Thursday. The conference is on Thursday and Friday, March 19th and 20th.
C: It says the conference is in Baltimore.
J: Yes, that's right.
C: But I'm in Miami.
J: Okay, well we have people traveling from all over the country to come. The conference isn't specific to Baltimore real estate. (I am starting to squirm in my chair at this point.)
C: Yes, but I can't afford $797.
J: I understand. Actually, Steve's conferences are normally about $2000 each. He is offering a big discount for this one.
C: Why can't he come to Miami?
J: Well, he lives in the Baltimore area and so most of his conferences are here, close to home. (My squirming is getting more intense.)
C: But this says it's in "Registerstown, M.D.".
J: That would be Reisterstown, Maryland.
C: But this says "M.D.".
J: Yes, that stands for Maryland.
C: But Maryland is "M.O.".
J: No, Missouri is MO; Maryland is MD. (I can feel the hives starting.)
C: Oh, well how long would it take me to get to Maryland from Miami? Have you ever been to Miami?
J: No, I haven't been to Miami, and I'm not sure how long it would take.
C: Well, where is Maryland?
J: Maryland is along the east coast, below Pennsylvania and above Virginia. (Right about now, I am wondering if I am dreaming.)
J: Yes, Pennsylvania. (Does she really NOT know there's a state named Pennsylvania?)
C: Well, is Maryland near Texas?
J: No. It's along the east coast of the US, north of Florida. (OH.MY.WORD.IS.THIS.WOMAN.SERIOUS?)
C: Well, this says the conference is at the Hilton.
J: Yes, that's right. The Hilton is the hotel where we are holding the conference. (I'm starting to itch. Does she think "Hilton" is a state?)
C: Well, I can't afford the Hilton. Aren't there any cheaper hotels around there?
J: I don't know, ma'am. The Hilton has given us a special room rate for those attending the conference.
C: Well, I still can't afford it. Don't you know of any other hotels around there?
J: I don't, but I'm sure you could find something on the internet. If you stay at another hotel, though, you will need a rental car to get to the Hilton. (Wondering why the HECK I am still speaking to this woman??)
C: Oh right. Okay. Well that's all I need for now. Thanks.
Free at last! I get back to work, and within 30 seconds, the phone rings again. You guessed it: Miss Geography is calling again.
J: Good afternoon, Steve Cook's offices.
C: Hello, I just called and talked to you about Steve Cook's conference in March.
J: Yes. (I'm twitching already.)
C: Well, can you tell me a little bit about Baltimore? I am looking to move with my three kids, and I want somewhere with good schools and a small town. Are the houses close together in Baltimore?
J: Well, it depends where in Baltimore you live? (Are you kidding me? Three minutes ago, she didn't even know Maryland was one of the fifty states and now she wants to MOVE here?)
C: Well, I want a nice neighborhood with good schools but not downtown, and I don't want the houses close together.
J: Well, that depends where in the Baltimore area you want to live. There are parts that are rural but you can still be close to Baltimore and Washington D.C..
C: Rural? What's that?
J: I mean you could be out in the country but still have all the advantages of living near a big city. (CAN.THIS.WOMAN.BE.FOR.REAL?)
C: Oh, well do you know of any good small towns around there?
J: Ma'am, I don't. But I'm sure you could get on the computer and find out something.
C: Oh, yeah. Do you have time to do that for me now and I will call you back in a few minutes to see what you find?
J: No, I do not. I am at work, and I have things to do. (UN.BE.LIEV.A.BLE!! At this point, I am twitching and itching, and generally, dumbfounded.)
C: Oh, okay, thanks anyway.
Needless to say, I have a feeling we won't be seeing this woman at the conference. In fact, I have a sneaky feeling she won't be venturing very far from Miami any time soon, which is probably a very good thing. Sigh........