Lois Snappling lives alone in the bottom left unit of the Riverdale Apartment complex in Cloverdale. She moved into her apartment when the complex was first built in 1983. In her 27 years as a Riverdale resident she has yet to carry on any kind of a cordial conversation with her neighbors.
The other Riverdale residents learned a long time ago to leave her be. Passing a pleasant “Good morning,” with Lois returns a scowl. A “Good Afternoon,” brings a grunt and a “Good evening,” brings a combination of both. Evenings are her worst when she returns home from the Blovus Call Center where she works as a sales supervisor.
This month the call center is selling The Farmer’s Wife Garden Seeds. Lois is responsible for 20 sales callers, most of whom are students at Cloverdale’s Community College. Sales are down, putting pressure on Lois to motivate her sales staff into more pushy, in your face, tactics. Motivation isn't Lois's strong point. Her usual method to move sales along are threats of unemployment. Her boss is encouraging her to be creative and help her young phone salesmen find conversational approaches that work.
Last night Lois wrote up a new calling script design to move seeds out the door. The next morning she taped copies of the script on every computer screen. The script read:
“Hello, I’m calling to give you some very important information concerning a proposed government program to confiscate unproductive land from homeowners and give it to people willing to use the land productively.From that point the salesperson goes into their normal sales pitch.
Do you have unproductive land? Do you have a lawn? Lawns are considered unproductive land. The government will ask you what good grass does to the community. You can’t eat it and you can’t build with it. It can’t be mined or harvested.
The purpose of this call is not to frighten you but to urge you to do something with your lawn to prevent the government from taking it. Have you thought of planting a small garden? Gardens are considered productive land.
A good garden starts with good hearty seeds. Today we have a special offer on The Farmer’s Wife’s Seeds.”
The staff laughed when they read her script. Some threw it away, which didn’t do anything to improve her already nasty mood. Lois spent much of the morning walking up and down the isles with her ruler making sure everyone was using her script.
Around 1:00 P.M. Lois’s manager ran into the room. He motioned to Lois to meet him in the conference room.
“We got a call from Capital City,” He said in a panicked voice. “They say people from this call center are telling people that the government is preparing to confiscate their land if they don't plant gardens! Cloverdale Weekend Television has gotten hold of the story and is sending reporters to investigate. Stop using that script now and shred every copy you’ve got. Lois, how could you be so stupid?”
Lois went home before the news crew arrived . Unfortunately one of her staff slipped her address to a reporter. Later that evening CWT sent a camera and reporter to the Riverdale Apartments to get a comment from Lois. The report was put through live during the evening news. The reporter walked up and knocked on her front door. Lois opened the door, staring directly into a CWT camera. Her image was beamed into every home in the Confederacy. It was not a pretty sight.
Lois will not be in a good mood for the foreseeable future, which is normal for her. At least she still has her job. The news coverage did sell seeds and for that the company was grateful.