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Gene Weingarten: Hello, customer serv — oh, it's you again

WASHINGTON — Another installment in my Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the plight of the beleaguered customer service representative.

Oral-B dental floss

Me: I like your product very much and admire its tensile strength. I was wondering how many feet of floss there are in each pack.

Paul: Let me check. (Checks.) It's 55 yards.

Me: Wow! That's more than enough! So, I was just wondering how many strands of it you'd have to braid together to support the weight of a 6-foot-tall man of muscular build.

Paul: I have no idea, but I think maybe 10 or 15. It's pretty strong stuff and kind of braided already.

Me: Okay, great!

Paul: Uh, why would you … ?

Me: See, I have this friend, currently incarcerated. Hypothetically, he might need to lower himself from a great height.


Me: So, Oral B recommends 10 or 15 packages, then, for this application of your product?


Me: Don't worry. It's okay because I was framed. I mean, my friend was framed.

American Kennel Club

Me: I am calling with a major complaint about your organization. Every time I feed my dog chocolate, she gets sick all over the house, including on my 19th century brocaded sectional sofa.

Mary: I don't think you are supposed to give a dog chocolate. It's not good for them.

Me: Well, exactly! How was I supposed to know that? It's the AKC's fault.

Mary: How is it our fault?

Me: I didn't name this breed; you guys did. She is a chocolate Lab.


Me: So naturally I assumed, as anyone would … Hello? Hello?

Knorr foods

Me: I hate your chicken-flavored chewing gum.

Shirley: We don't have a product like that.

Me: Yes, you do. I'm chewing it right now. It's terrible. It comes in a little cube in tinfoil.

Shirley: Sir, that's a bouillon cube. It's for flavoring soups or stew bases.

Me: Oh.

Shirley: You thought someone would make chicken gum?

Me: Sure. That's what Chiclets are, right?

Benefit Nutrition

Me: I was browsing in the supermarket aisle and found your breakfast cereal Simply Fiber. I just wanted to say it is the greatest product name ever. It's honest. No pretense. It would be as though Playboy were named Self-Pleasuring Monthly. Or if, instead of something like Ocean Breeze, a deodorant called itself Stink B-Gone.

Barry: Thanks!

Me: Have you ever considered expanding into the alcoholic-beverage business? I'd buy Cheap Buzz Beer or Pray-to-the-Porcelain-God fortified wine or Wino's Delight malt liquor.

Barry: I appreciate the accolade.

Me: It's not about taste!

Barry: Right, it's about the p-word! It's very efficacious! But you might want to add fruit or something.

Me: I love your attitude!

Barry: I love yours!

Gene Weingarten can be reached at [email protected]

Gene Weingarten: Hello, customer serv — oh, it's you again 07/31/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 5:02pm]
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