Two minutes before quitting time, a man walked in to pay his rent.
“By the way,” he said, “I’m pretty angry that no one’s called me back.”
“About what?” I asked.
“About my house!” he snapped.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t work in property management.”
He glowered. “I offered to buy the house at market value. They never called me back.”
“Who did you speak to?” I asked.
“I don’t know!”
I frowned. “You don’t know who you talked to?”
“Well, I don’t know, either,” I said. “That’s why I’m asking. Was it the owner? A real- estate agent? The property manager?”
“I said I don’t know.”
“Well,” I said, raising my shoulders, “I don’t know what to say. You’re not giving me much to go by. Even Dick Tracy would have trouble cracking this case, based on the lack of clues.”
“I don’t need the sarcasm,” the man said. “I just want to know why they didn’t call me back.”
“I don’t know!” he screamed.
“Well, I don’t know, either,” I said. “What do you want me to do?”
“I want you to do your job and find out why they never called me back.”
“Here’s a suggestion,” I said. “Why don’t you call this person who never called you back and ask why they never called you back? Then you’d learn why they never called you back.”
The man threw his rent check at me and stomped out. The door slammed shut behind him.
I congratulated myself on my excellent people skills and proceeded to close the office.