Because crap is equal opportunity, today we bring you an email onslaught by one "Linda," who was...very displeased with the business exchange she had with "Kate." Very displeased. We'll let her tell you.
Linda, working on a project, contacted Kate about obtaining some images to run in a book. The exchange started out normally enough:
Dear Ms Smith,
I have yet to receive the images I requested on behalf of [redacted]. Perhaps I provided you with an erroneous address? It is "crunch time" as they say- we are hoping to go to publication by the end of next month! Would it be possible for you to send them to me today?
Fair enough! Kate responded in kind.
I don't see an order in our database of invoice/estimates for either name. Can you resend your original e-mail to me so that I can draft an invoice/estimate? We'll need the specific images as well as the planned use for them.
Here's where things took a turn for the testy.
Thank you for getting back to me so promptly, although I must say I am a little surprised at your tone. I have a long standing relationship with your organization, and have been a generous donor over the years- I am guessing since before you were born.
Resending the original email is impossible, but I will attempt to resubmit the request. The forthcoming book is titled, "[removed]" if that helps to jog your memory. The images we are seeking are the controversial images of [redacted]. I believe the Met has original copies as well, although I would prefer not to bother them.
Please let me know TODAY if that helps you find the original request or if I should ring the Met.
Okay, fine. These kinds of delays - and the loss of an initial email - are annoying. Clearly, Kate understood that too. At least, her response seems like a model of professionalism.
I'm sorry if you interpreted my e-mail as impolite. In order to place an order, we need a specific list of images, and in absence of any record or reference to a previous order, we require a list from which we can draft an invoice/estimate. I've attached our fee schedule as a reference to our rates and policies.
I was not able to locate images that match your description in our database of digital images just now, but if you are able to provide collection information, negative numbers, or descriptions of the images as they are credited to us, I'll be happy to locate them so that we may scan and send them. If you are in a rush situation and are certain that the Metropolitan Museum has original copies, I'd recommend contacting them for high resolution digital images; we close in two hours, in which time we are not likely to locate the images.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything else I can do -
Here is the response she received.
So you are saying that I should contact the Met? Just call them? Like its nothing? no biggie! okey dokey! Let me put it in words you can understand: U R A baffoon! I HATE going to the EAST side of the park! I am a little old lady and walking around in that enormous museum would kill me! I hate you for saying "Call the Met" like its nothing! I hate you! Im just going to take a sleeping pill with a glass of whiskey and call it a weekend and the book can wait!! Ill probably lose my job because you ruined my life!!!!!! I hope that all of your JCrew magazines get lost in the mail and that you never get to eat sushi again, that you forget your password on facebook! Before I swallow this pill I am going to write my last check to the society EVER!! For 0$! Notation line: ask Kate! I hope you get bedbugs on the subway ride home today!
WITH MY COMPLIMENTS,
P.S. When you leave work today, if an old lady runs up to you and smashes a bottle of wine over your head and runs away cackling, dont be surprised because that old woman IS YOU!!!!
(We're still puzzling over that last line, but working online, maybe we're not up on contemporary business etiquette?)