Opinion

Phony calls and hang-ups in Federal Way | Andy Hobbs

The following is based on actual calls. Only the names and dialogue have been changed.

•••

(Ring ring)

“Thank you for calling the Federal Way Mirror. Can I help you?”

“This is Eileen Dover from Federal Way City Council. I am outraged that you quoted six out of seven council members for today’s story, but you didn’t quote me. I said some very important things that affected the council’s vote, and the public deserves to read them. Don’t you agree this is something the readers need to know?”

“Actually, we quoted five out of the seven council members. The story did not include comments from Mayor Jack Dovey.”

“Well this is the most unprofessional reporting I have ever seen. You’ve got some kind of agenda. You don’t know how to do your job.”

“What the —” (click)

•••

“Hi, this is Amanda Huggenkiss, and I live in Federal Way. I am outraged that the president of the United States is indoctrinating our school children like a dictator. I have never seen this before in my life! The president has no right to subject children to his rhetoric about education. The Federal Way School District does not have enough time to send out permission slips to parents before Tuesday’s broadcast.”

“This isn’t the first president to talk to students. What if John McCain were president?”

“It doesn’t matter who’s the president. This is wrong! Me and a bunch of my friends are keeping our kids home from school on Tuesday. You’ve got to put something into this weekend’s paper to remind parents about the permission slips. The president has no right to act like a dictator and force his views —” (click)

•••

“This is Ivanna Tinkle, wife of (insert local political candidate). I just saw the commentary by Bob Roegner in The Mirror, and I demand you take it off the Web site immediately! It’s all lies! Just a bunch of lies! I’m going to sue you for slander, do you hear me!?! (pause) Are you laughing at me?”

“No, I’m not laughing.”

“Why are you silent?”

“What do you want me to say?”

“All these despicable lies you’re printing will cost my husband his re-election. Take the story down! Aaaaahhhh!” (click)

•••

“Yes, this is Jim Naysium, and I live in Federal Way. There was a SWAT invasion on my street at 3 a.m. Why hasn’t it appeared in The Mirror?”

“I’ll make a call this morning and find — ”

“You call yourselves a newspaper? I’m canceling my subscription!”

“Sir, we do what we can with a small staff. Please be sure to check the crime blotter, which runs every —” (click)

•••

“Hi, this is Tim Eyman. I saw your ‘con’ piece on the opinion page regarding I-1033, my latest initiative to micromanage Washington state’s government. I am hoping that you’ll allow your readers the opportunity to see a ‘pro’ column. I can write up a 700-word piece and have it to you by —” (click)

•••

“F-Dub Pub, can I help you?”

“Ah yes, I desperately need to talk to my father, and he might be at the bar. Is there a chance you can find him for me?”

“Sure, what’s his name?”

“Al. Last name is Coholic.”

“Hold on a second. (covers phone) Excuse me, phone call for Al Coholic. I’m looking for an Al Coholic! (laughter) Hey, it’s you again! When I find you, I’m gonna break my foot off in your —” (click)

•••

“Dr. Phil’s office, this is Bea O’Problem speaking. How may I direct your call?”

“Hi Bea, this is Andy. I need some emergency advice from Dr. Phil. Is he busy?”

“He’s just walking off the set of today’s show. Here he is...”

“Hey buddy, how are you?”

“Hangin’ in there, Dr. Phil.”

“After hearing about all the elected mayor drama in Federal Way, I was wondering when you’d call. Some of those folks need to come on my show and get their bolts tightened.”

“That topic is for another phone call. I actually need your opinion on phone etiquette.”

“Make it quick. I’m busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.”

“Why can the telephone bring out the worst in people?”

“Most communication comes through body language. Without face-to-face interaction, heightened emotions can go haywire. It is important to properly express yourself when communicating over the phone. Add a little bit of human touch, and you’re less likely to get those signals crossed. There’s a reason the Golden Rule is called the Golden Rule.”

“Thanks, Dr. Phil. That’s great advice. One more question?”

“Listen, I really need to —”

“Just one question?”

“(sigh) One more, then I’m hanging up on you.”

“Is your refrigerator running?”

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