Just ask for Susie

A variation of the following scenario happens to me a lot, enough so that I coined it, “Just ask for Susie”. The subject changes – it could be almost anything – but the way the people involved behave doesn’t. Maybe it will seem familiar to you too.

Suppose you need very specific forms. Call them Schwippiekins Forms. You can’t make them or pick them up any old place. But it’s not immediately obvious where they’re available so you have to ask around, make some calls, look things up online. You finally learn of a place that is supposed to carry them, Office A. Maybe you call first and the person on the phone says yes, you can get the forms here. So you go to Office A and ask for the forms. The personnel on hand respond, almost indignantly, “Oh no, we don’t carry those here. You need to go across town to Office B. They handle all the Schwippiekins Forms. Just ask for Susie.”

So, not very happy about it, but thinking at least you’ve nailed down the right place and person, you travel across town. Once at Office B, you do as told and ask for Susie. And here it comes, all attitude: “Susie?? There’s no Susie here. Oh, maybe we DID have a Susie but she retired six years ago. Somebody told you we had Schwippiekins Forms?? Well, I don’t know who told you that. Nobody who works at Office A would say that. No, you need to go downtown to Office C for those forms. Just ask for Jim.”


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