Contest – Look, I Don’t Mean To Be Rude

BostonThis is a true story. Catch up here: The Contest.

Well, I wasn’t happy for long. Wait’ll you get a load of this prize.

I was told I would be flying to Boston from a city that was more than three hours away. Hmm. An hour sitting in the airport at least, right? Then a six hour flight to Boston. Are you adding this up? I was.

I would meet Tom Heinsohn for dinner that evening at eight o’clock. Then I would fly back the next morning, repeating the ten hour commute in the opposite direction.

“Er… Excuse me? Are you kidding me? You’ve got to be. What idiot thought this up?” I ask.

I wait, but there’s no answer.

“Great! My husband is going to love this. I’ll just tell him that I’m going across the country to eat dinner with a strange man, and I’ll be coming home tired! ” *Snort”

“Huh?” says the voice on the phone.

“Look. I don’t mean to be rude,” says Libra.  “But you’ve got to be kidding me with this prize. I win a national contest and this is the prize? A trip for one? Are you out of your mind? This has got to be a joke.”

“Um… Most people are happy when we call them to tell them they’ve won something.”

“Well I don’t know what to say. You mean most people are happy when you give them a trip for one? Well, that’s crazy. Are you trying to get me divorced? You’re aware I’m a woman, right?” My mind was racing. Are men cool with trips for one? Not many women worked at Frito Lay. How could this be happening?

“Uh… Yeah. We I thought you might be, by your name.”

“Well, now you know for sure, so listen. Go back to whoever thought up this stupid prize and tell them they’ve got to do better. This is not a prize. It’s a stinkin’ punishment. You don’t send people on trips for one. You just don’t. This is Frito Lay, right? Don’t you guys have a couple of bucks? I think you do.”

“We didn’t really think there would be a problem…”

“Well there is. Now you especially don’t send a married women to meet a single man. Is he picking me up at my hotel? I mean, think about it. It’s insane. Am I going on a date? My husband will be thrilled. It’s crazy to call me like this. And insulting! I’m the number one salesperson in this state. Did you know that? Do you know what that means? It means that I work hard. I work hard, and now I’ve won a national contest, and I want a real prize. I deserve a real prize, so how about you go get me one, This is ridiculous.”

“Uh… Yes, Elsa. So what do you want? You want to travel with you husband?”

“Yes! Hell yes! If you can’t swing that, then you can keep your prize! I’ll win another trip for one next year and we can put them together and have something worth having! And I don’t want to drive three hours to get a plane, either. Are you crazy? Let me tell you about reality. I am tired. I work all day on a truck selling Fritos, remember? Ten hours. Every day. Sometimes twelve. I drive 1000 miles a week and I have for years. Years! Now I win a national contest and you tell me to drive to the plane? I can’t believe this. You guys should be sending me a limo.”

She is quiet, so I keep talking. I’m in sales after all. I think she’s on the ropes.

“Now listen to me. How many winners do you have? One, right? There is one stinking second place winner in a national contest, and you’re trying to save three hundred bucks? I make you that much money in minutes. What are you doing being so cheap? This is embarrassing. You should be embarrassed, I have to tell you this.”

There was no response.

“Look. You don’t have to take care 10 or 20 or 700 people. Just one. Now come up with the money to fly me AND my husband from the city where we live and give us a real prize. I assure you, I deserve it. If you wonder about that, then when you hang up, pull my file and you’ll find out. We want to stay a few days. Three or four nights. It’s not that big a deal. I personally sell a half million dollars a year, wholesale. Just me. And I am one girl on a truck in the middle of nowhere! That’s thirty-five cents at a time, so get a grip. I can’t believe that I have to tell you that you are Frito Lay and you are not poor.”

There was more. I was hot. I mean, think about it. How dare I win a contest and be offered this crappy prize?

“My husband has family in Boston. His brother lives there and he has a sister in law. I’m sure they would like to come to dinner too. How about you let them? Another $100 on the tab? (late 80s’s prices) So what? What’s a couple more lobster in the scheme of Frito Lay? You must see how easy this is, right? Make a real prize, otherwise, what’s the point? Why are you having a national contest to offer a crappy prize that no one wants?”

By the time I got off the phone the gal who called me was ashamed. “I’ll see what I can do and I’ll call you back.”

“Thank you. I’ll appreciate that.” Libra. Always.


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Contest – What About My Beer?

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