The Grinder

Marie Lecrivain

"What dollar amount did you have in mind?"

"I'm not sure."

"If it helps, I can utilize some promotions and specials to help maximise your purchase."

"I want what you advertized."

"As I explained, sir, you'll need to have $400,677 to afford the whole experience. If you don't have that, we do have financing options with low interest rates."

"I know that. I just thought since we've been talking that we might be able to work something out."

"I'm sure you're a nice man, sir, but this is my first time speaking with you. If you're expecting empathy instead of sympathy, then there's a $5,000 administration fee included with your purchase."

"I know. I read the literature you sent me."

"We believe in transparency, sir. Now, since five minutes have passed, I'm going to have to start charging you a conversation fee."

"What?"

"Sir, it's in the pamphlet we transmitted to you. And may I remind you, it's in the fine print."

"I know."

"Would you like to continue?"

"But I'm a customer."

"Sir, with all due respect, you're a potential client. You've not yet placed an order, and now that we're at five minutes and seven seconds, I'll have to charge you for this conversation."

"I can get what I need from your competitor."

"Sir, may I remind you that we are the leader in this industry. Our competitors are no longer allowed to sell transactions that result in massive loss of bodily fluids. Of course, we've never allowed that to happen with any of our independent contractors."

"When did that happen?"

"Last year, after an Acme client complained that the measurements of his purchase were not exact. He took matters into his own hands. He amputated the poor girl's feet and left her to bleed to death in his basement. Remember? It was in the news."

"Oh... yeah."

"Sir, we've exceeded the free time to prepare your order. From this moment, you'll be charged $1,000 for every 1/10 of a second of discourse."

"Oh, shit! Really?"

"Yes."

"Damn! You really do go for the throat."

"No, sir, we prefer to remain professional. It's in the pamphlet. Naturally, we know you'll have questions, but we expect our existing clients, and potential clients to be prepared when they call us. It's why we send you specific information to your initial query. Time is money."

"I see."

"I'm glad, sir. Now, what dollar amount did you have in mind?"

"Well, I would've told you, but you've wasted my time with this inane conversation."

"Sir, may I remind you that our conversation is being recorded for quality assurance? That's for your protection as well as ours. I did ask you, more than once, what you were looking for."

"Yeah, I know. But I'm still not sure that this is a good idea."

"What's holding you back?"

"I'm on the fence."

"I understand. What can I do to assauge your concerns?"

"I just want to make sure-- Hey, wait a minute, did you just empathise with me?

"Yes, sir, I did. But that is automatically included once you use up your first five minutes. In this case, it's free, at least until you reach the seven minute mark, which, in the course of a normal transaction is where I would be giving you a confirmation for your order."

"What?"

"It's stated in the pamphlet, sir. Page four, paragraph six."

"Hang on... Oh, yeah... damn!"

"Sir, did you actually read the whole pamphlet?"

"Well, I started to, but I got distracted by work."

"Sir, as we stated in the introductory letter, we believe in an honest pricing model. Time is money."

"Shit! I wish I'd known that."

"It's explained in the brochure, sir."

"I see that now!"

"Sir, I also need to let you know that you have 20 seconds left before we hit the seven minute mark, at which time the $1,000 1/10 second fee will increase to $2500 for every 1/20 second."

"Really?! Wtf! You're still charging me?"

"Yes, sir."

"Crap."

"Sir, let me get back to the important matter. What's holding you back?"

"How do I know that your company won't rob me blind? I've never done this before."

"That's an excellent question, sir. The answer is on page 25, paragraph two of your pamphlet. It takes six months for an independent contractor to go through our hiring process. All our independent contractors are put through a deep background and drug screen before we grant them an interview. They are then subject to a two-week long psyche evaluation to make sure that they can successfully implement the delicate nuances of the job requirements. They’re genetically screened to match your physical specifications, and put on birth control to avoid accidental conceptions. Each one comes with a 30-day money back guarantee."

"I need to think about this."

"Very well, sir. Give me a call when you're ready."

"Hey, I have a question."

"Certainly. You have eleven seconds left."

"Doesn't it bother you? I mean, what... I mean... who you're selling?"

"No, sir. Our company operates from a place of complete transparancy. No one is coerced or unduly influenced. Our independent contractors are free to terminate their employment with us, as we are with them, at any time. It's specified in their contract."

"I see. Well, thank you."

"You're welcome, sir. I'm going to send you over to confirmation now, and they will go over your payment options for this conversation. If you change your mind, my extension is 4343. Have a good day."