This Is Going to Sound Made Up

I forgot to share something that happened last week that absolutely cracked me up. Very few folks ring our general number at Underscore, mostly because most clients and partners have the direct dial numbers of the people they do business with here.  But every once in a while, the main number rings, and when it does, it rings at all of our phones.

Last week, almost everybody was out at lunch or in meetings and the general number rang.  I picked it up and a women I didn't know started asking me questions about her bra.

I thought it was a prank.  Not quite.

The woman's questions centered around why she was having difficulty finding her bra in her size at J.C. Penney.  She asked - nay, demanded - to know whether or not we planned to ship more bras in 44DD.  I tried explaining that we were a marketing agency and that we didn't manufacture bras.

"What do you do, then?" she asked.

I explained that we develop marketing strategies and media campaigns for our clients, whereupon she asked me what she should do to find out whether or not J.C. Penney was going to stock her size.

"I dunno," I replied.  "Have you tried calling J.C. Penney?"

She said she had already done that, but the retailer was unable to help her.  There was a long, awkward pause, as she waited for my next suggestion as to how to solve her problem.  I couldn't believe that she thought a stranger, who wasn't even remotely connected to this situation, was expected to help solve her problem.  So instead of speculating as to how she might get some new bras, I asked her how she got our number.  As it turns out, she did a Google search for "Underscore" since that's what the tag on the inside of her bra said.  I quickly did the same search on my browser, and found the listing for our home page is #3 under "Underscore."  I realized this woman had come to our website, had somehow managed to skip past all the information about our business, had made it to our "Contact" page and had rung us up.  Hysterical.

I explained again that we didn't make bras and suggested she call J.C. Penney corporate and ask to speak to a buyer, and we hung up.

This little exchange reminded me that J.B. and Jason from Mass Transit Interactive told me they used to get phone calls and e-mails complaining about NYC subway service.  It also reminded me of the shipments of rollerblades and skis we used to get at K2 Design, when people mistook our company for the folks who manufacture those sorts of things.

So, faithful reader, entertain us with your stories of corporate mistaken identity in comments.