Wednesday, March 10, 2010

L.A. Stories- Call From Beyond (the Porn Industry)

I am the receptionist for a large building with 5 separate (porn) companies inside. They all either make and distribute porn films, just distribute porn films, run porn web sites, or sell sex toys.
Because of the "adult" nature of the companies in our building, I am asked to answer the phone with the simple phrase, "Corporate office." It's intentionally vague, but pretty much every person who calls is in the porn industry and knows to ask to be connected to a certain company or extension.

If it's a call from someone randomly trying to sell printer ink or whatever, this nondescript method of answering the phone keeps their innocent ears from being sullied by our smut, and also protects our employees from any harassment. A lot of people who work here don't share the nature of their work with outside friends and family. We respect each other's choices and don't reveal private porn iden-titties.

Occasionally, someone will call the main line and say, "someone called me from this number."
I can't say, "well, slut, who do you know in the porn industry?" so I'll say, "There are 5 different companies here- if you can give me a hint as to who you think may have called you, I'll connect you."

I'm not supposed to say which companies they are, or reveal who works there. Them's the rules.
Usually, the caller is in the adult industry, and they quickly realize why I'm being so vague. They then will then state one of the companies' names, or a specific person, and I'll connect them.

If they don't have a specific name, I tell them that I'm sorry I can't help them, but hopefully whoever was trying to reach them will call back.
That usually ends it.

However, yesterday was extra special:

The phone rang.

Me: Corporate Office

Angry Woman: Someone called me from this number.

Me: OK, well, there are 5 different companies here, so if you can give me a hint as to who may have called you, I'll connect you.

Angry Woman: Well who's this?

Me: The receptionist.

Angry Woman: Just connect me to whoever called me.

Me: I don't know who called you, ma'am- it could've been anyone in the building. I really can't help you, but hopefully they'll call back.

Angry Woman: (super angry now) I don't want a call back. Listen. You need to take me off your calling list- or I'll do it myself!

At this point I laughed a little, because she sound soooo angry and had no idea she was calling a pornucopia of dildos and buttplugs, and was demanding something that was completely unnecessary. No one here makes outgoing sales calls. They're not going to cold-call someone and offer them a deal on pornographic film distribution.

Angry Woman: Oh, so now you're laughing at me?!?

Me: No, ma'am, I assure you I'm not laughing at you- it's just there is no "call list;" no solicitation calls come from these companies.

Angry Woman: You were laughing at me!

Me: Nope- I promise. I was laughing because I have no idea how to take someone off a "do not-"

Angry Woman: (interrupting) Yeah, you sound really proud of yourself. I bet you really enjoy your job, don't you?

Me: Uhhh...

Angry Woman: And I bet you're grateful to even have a job right now, aren't you? Hunh? In this economy?

At this point, she was starting to screech, and I was having so much fun listening to her work herself into a froth, I decided to play along.

Me: Oh, yes!

Angry Woman: What's your name?

Me: Shirley. I'm a temp.

Angry Woman: (dripping venom at this point) Who is your supervisor- I want to tell them what a good job you're doing.

Me: Oh! Thank you- but unless you have an exact name, I can't connect you.

Angry Woman: Just give me any Supervisor!

Me: Right away- for which company, ma'am?

Angry Woman: (trying to calm her voice down so I won't catch on to her ruse) Whichever one your supervisor works for.

Me: Well, it's tricky, because I answer the main line for all 5 companies.

Angry Woman: Just give me the first one.

Me: The first one, alphabetically, or in order that they appear in the building's floorplan?

Angry Woman: (seething) Alphabetically.

Me: Right away.

...I then placed her on hold, where she doggedly held the line, listening to our crappy soft rock hold music, for twenty minutes.

She eventually hung up and called back. I saw that it was her redialing and immediately hung up on her.
Ah, the glamourous Adult Film Industry- at the end of the day, it's the little things that make my job worthwhile.