"Hello, this is K calling from Such-and-Such Company. Could I please speak to the pastor?"
(Note: this is the church version of "can I speak to the person in your home who makes the purchasing decisions?")
The call got passed to me.
"Hello, are you the pastor?" "Yes."
"Well, this is K calling from Such-and-Such Company. We just want to thank you for your interest in our company and we are going to send you out a wonderful swiss army knife, as promised, just for contacting us."
" --- " (bewildered silence on my end) "I'm sorry ... who? What?"
K repeated her speech, joyfully assuring me that I had not contacted her in vain, and that I certainly WOULD receive the clock-radio-oops-swiss-army-knife that I wanted, just for contacting her.
"But I didn't ..."
"Now, I just need to confirm your address, is it ....? Do I have that right?"
"No, we moved away from there 2 years ago."
"Well," said K, "That's the address on the reply card."
"Whose name is on the reply card?" I asked.
"No name," she said.
"Well, it's an old card," I said, "since we haven't been at that address for 2 years. So I have no idea who sent you that card or why they contacted you."
"It is NOT an old card," she said cheerfully. "Now, of the three products that are checked off here, which would you say is the highest priority?"
"I don't know what 3 products are checked off..."
"A high-quality disinfectant cleaner ... a wonderful polish ... and a thingamabob. Which is the highest priority?"
"Well, I don't know. How could I know? I don't know who you are. I don't know who sent you this card. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm not actually directly involved with our church's cleaning products ... I'd have to ask our volunteers ... "
A pause. Then an icy, "I thought you were the person who does the ordering."
"No," I replied calmly, "I'm the person who does the pastoring."
"Fine," she said.
And hung up.
So much for my swiss army knife.