Last night was a rather stellar example of why I make it a habit to almost always let the phone go to voice mail.
Me: We don’t have any puppies right now, sorry.
Caller: But your ad says you do.
Me: We don’t actually have an ad.
Caller: OK, well, on your website it says “Available puppies”. So I want to know which ones are available.
Me: But if you’d clicked the link, you would have seen that it says “We have no available puppies”.
Caller: Then maybe you shouldn’t put up ads that say you do!
Caller: Hi, I’m calling about your French Bulldogs. I was wondering if you could tell me more about the breed, like how they are with kids, and their breeds standard, and their health issues and genetic concerns… stuff like that. (it sounded very much as if she was reading off of a list)
Me, noticing that it’s after 11 pm: Well, it’s sort of late, and I have a website that has pretty much all of that info on it already – I can give you the site address. (it’s http://www.frenchbulldogplanet.com, by the way)
Caller: I’ve seen most of the websites.
Me: Well, there are also some really good books I can recommend.
Caller: I have bought some books already.
Me: Umm, then what is it you still really need to know about Frenchies? (At eleven o’ clock at night?)
Caller: Well, nothing really – I just sort of would like to test out how much you know! I read someplace that that’s how you can tell if someone is a good breeder.
Me: Ummm, I’ve had Frenchies for almost twenty years, so…
Caller: But you might not have read those books like I did!
Me: Well, I wrote most of the on line suggested book lists.
Caller: But that doesn’t mean you read the books!
Me: Look, it’s really late, and we don’t have any puppies, and I designed those sites pretty much so I’d have one central place to send people to for breed info.
Caller: Ha, so you won’t tell me what you know, then?
Me: I’ll tell you that I don’t want you to own one of my puppies, because any dog that had to live in the same house with you would probably try to throw itself in front of a bus.
Then I hung up.
She called back three times, leaving increasingly irate messages, and this morning I found this email in my inbox:
You were SO RUDE TO ME last night, suggesting a dog of mine would do suicide. I could sue you for defamation of character for that, did you know? Instead I will start a website of my own telling people how HORRIBLE you are and that you don’t even know anything about French bulldogs.
I haven’t responded yet, but I did re-learn a valuable lesson – never, ever answer the phone. Oh, and it’s probably not a good idea to read email, either.