Friday, June 11, 2010

Step One: Open mouth; Step Two: Insert foot

Back in the olden days, when I lived in Tucson, I worked at an auto insurance agency.

It catered to people who needed to purchase insurance to comply with the state minimum requirement, but did not have a good record with insurance (either due to not paying it consistently or not have a good driving record).

I was what I liked to call an unlicensed agent.  I did the same work the agents at the office did.  I just didn't sign my name to any of the policies.

I gave people insurance quotes.  I took applications, both by phone and in person.  I processed payments.  I referred customers to the claims department when accidents occurred.

So I came in contact with people all day, every day.

I don't know about you, but when I have a routine, I can sometimes make people think that I am truly interested in our discussion.  Especially when I am not.

This was SO the case with my job as the unlicensed agent.

As I took applications, I had to ask people about their jobs.  Since it took about 15 minutes to complete the application and the employment part came up pretty quickly, I could usually count on talking about their occupation for the remaining time.

Do you like your job?

Oh, I have a friend who does that, too!

How long have you been doing that?

Now, for the most part, I could convince them that my questioning was genuine.  There were a few jobs that I didn't pull it off well, though.  You like "entertainers" (which was the politically correct term for exotic dancers).

Sometimes, when the person had a particularly interesting job, I would really get into the Q&A session and jabber on for much longer than the application process should have taken.

But other times, my mind would be on cruise control and I would say the first thing that came to mind.

Like, "Oh!  My roommate is an illegal alien!"

To the Border Patrol agent.


Ginger said...

That is great! By the way, now I will never know if you are truly interested in what I am telling you or if you are just on "cruise control".

Linda said...

I love that! You are hilarious. I think we all listen on cruise control a little bit.