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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Purple Vermont

By Law Vermont is Always Purple

Years ago, I worked in a family owned, allegedly Christian, collection agency.  The work was tedious and very repetitious.  I had gotten to the point of saying the same exact words to everyone I spoke to.  This way I complied with the law and I collected quite well.

Along the way, the company had purchased what they referred to as a predictive dialer.  This computer automatically dialed constantly in the attempt to keep debtors on the phone for us all the time.

We had two headsets.  One was attached to a standard phone and one was hooked to this predictive dialer. We constantly worked the phones in our little sweatshop. 
The collection manager was the son of the owner.  She treated him like an imbecile.  He acted accordingly. This predictive dialer was designed, in part, by psychologists who had found that playing the radio over the headphone for the predictive dialer between calls made the collectors more productive.

The mother and son, in their infinite wisdom, determined that they should play static over the headset instead of music.  This made an awful noise and is probably why I am deaf in that ear now. 

Like I said, the work was about as mundane as one could get, so I would try to liven up my day.  When you are on the phone like that constantly, it is very much like you are working by yourself.

One day, I called a house and a young boy answered the phone.  I asked to leave my name and phone number for the boy’s father.   The boy wrote down my name and phone number.  Then, he asked me a question.  It was apparent that the boy thought I was a friend of the family.

He was working on homework and had a question.  He asked, “Do you know where Vermont is on the map?"
I told him to look on the right side of the United States near the top.  I told him to look for the purple state.  He found it and it was purple.  He asked how I knew it would be purple.  I snickered and said, “By law, Vermont is ALWAYS purple."  I told him to tell his teacher what he learned about maps and the law.  He said he would.

I wonder if he ever told his teacher that.    Vermont literally means Green Mountain.  By sheer coincidence Vermont was purple on this map.

Have you ever pulled such a prank?  Tell us about it in the comments below. 

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