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 know...jobs 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.

2 comments:

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.