Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Batty BAT

We hear a lot of weird and wonderful things in our office and deal with a variety of people (mainly morons or all shapes and sizes), but yesterday's overheard conversation between my colleague and the receptionist at British American Tobacco (BAT) takes the cake...

This is what I heard:

L: 'Hi, my name is L____ and I'd just like to know whether your offices are in Cape Town or Johannesburg.
*pause*
What? Yes, I'm over 18.
*pause*
No, I don't smoke.
*pause*
No, I just want to know whether your offices are in Cape Town or Jo'burg.
*pause*
Ok, let me explain: I'm a journalist from ______ and I've been commissioned to write a profile on BAT for the book ______, but I am based in Jo'burg, so if your offices are in Cape Town I will need to pass it on to another journalist. So, as I said, *adopts I'm-talking-to-a-five-year-old tone* all I need to know is: are your offices in Cape Town or in Johannesburg?
*pause; laughs hysterically.*
Ok, ok, FINE!
*Slams down the phone and bangs head repeatedly on the desk* (To me:) She's not allowed to communicate with me at all, because I'm not a smoker!

How's that for strange? I figure she should've bought a pack, smoked one and called back, saying, "All that has changed now... So can you communicate with me?"

My job is a joke. Once again, free therapy for all journos!

15 comments:

sweets said...

no! LOL that's totally ridiculous!!! so i guess everybody who works for them HAS to be smokers too??? wow...

AlasMyDear said...

my goodness, that is SO, SO weird! what gives? ridunkulous people!

Parenthesis said...

Perhaps they should add a division or two to their company, and change the acronymn from BAT to BAT-TY. Ha! Smoke that!

Tamara said...

Sweets: it would appear so. Although my friend who works on their ad account (who informed me this morning that she's unimpressed with my post. Hah! How was I to knwo she reads my blog?) says they're working on SNUS - "these sweet citrus, mocha, mint and spice flavoured pouches that you actually put between your gum and your top lip." Smokeless and apparently harmless, but you still get the nicotine rush. So maybe you just have to be a nicotime addict, not a smoker. Perhaps these weird thinsg might be a solution for you?

Alas: I know! Crazy, right?

Parenthesis: Any suggestions?

Globus said...

just goes to show, smoking is divisive and bad for you in more ways than one. see, globus is halfway through removing the brainwashing already!

elizabeth said...

LOVE IT. One of those feeling like you're in the twilight zone moments.

Caz said...

haha Tell your colleague their office is in fact in Stellenbosch and I'm not even joking: every time i drive past there is some guy time-warped from the early 90's - side path, predominantly dressed in brown - walking out smoking a frikken massive siggie. so weird.

Caz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sweets said...

"...put between your gum and your top lip...

omg... i would look so hot don't you think?! what happens if you want to smile?!
mwhahahahahahahaha

Tamara said...

Globus: Love your logic!

Elizabeth: I know - feel like I like in one of those office sitcoms.

Caz: Weird!

Sweets: Nothing sexier, I'm sure. Except maybe a rugby player wearing a gum guard (quickest way to make someone look thick).

phillygirl said...

That absolutely hysterical ... I'm sure you could actually sue them for discrimination ;)

Tamara said...

phillygirl: Now THERE'S an idea! Good one.

The Divine Miss M said...

I've tried that stuff - it really gives you a nicotine rush of note. Like when you first smoked a ciggie, you get the head rush and all.

It tastes rather gross though.

Big in Sweden.

Go figure.

angel said...

oh my word that is so strange! how would they even know!!??!

Tamara said...

Angel: good point. If I ever call, I'll remember to lie.