Friday, August 6, 2010

The Tragedy of the Creepy Phone Stalker Guy

The phone rings.

“Dijkstra Agency, this is Natalie.”

“Hi, can I speak to Sandra Dijkstra?”

“Can I ask who’s calling please?”

“Uh – can I speak to Sandra?”

Uh oh. I know who this is. It’s CREEPY PHONE STALKER.

“I’m sorry, I need to know who this is; is she expecting your call?”

“Yes, she knows who I am. I submitted a manuscript to her I need to talk about.”

Oh dear lord.

“Well, I’m sorry to say that she isn’t in the office right now-”

“When will she be back?”

“Ah – you know, she’s actually out for the rest of the week.”

“Oh. Well, is there a time I can call when she’ll be in the office?”

“You know, I really can’t say…she works from her home office a lot as well...”

“Ok, but you don’t understand. I need to speak with SANDRA DIJKSTRA. She has my manuscript.”

“You know, I can put you through to Sandy’s assistant; she reads everything alongside Sandy and I’m sure-”

“No, I need to speak with Sandra. It’s very important.”

“I’m sorry…she’s just not in the office today.”

“Ok, look, I’ll call back.”

Great.


Two days later. Phone at Sandy’s assistant’s desk rings. “Dijkstra Agency this is Elise.”

Pause. She starts to pick up her pen to take notes.

“I’m sorry, can I ask who’s calling?”

Pen is put down. She sits back in her chair.

“I’m sorry, Sandy isn’t in the office today. But I’d be happy to talk to you about your manuscript….uh huh. I understand. Unfortunately, Sandy just can’t take your call…no, she’s…yes, I understand…ok.”

She hangs up.

“He’s going to call back, isn’t he?” I ask.

She sighs. “Every few months.”

Eventually, we learned his name was Michael. It took several calls to get this information. Finally, he spoke to Elise about his manuscript. Michael is currently undergoing bankruptcy, and is afraid the bank will take his manuscript. It is urgent he speaks with Sandra Dijkstra, so that she will represent him, so he can retain the rights to his manuscript.

Michael still calls to this day. He never gets to speak to Sandra Dijkstra.

15 comments:

  1. I don't know about you, but I'd start getting the hint when Sandra continued to be out of the office for months....at the very least I'd be somewhat suspicious...

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  2. Oh good lord.

    I remember screening calls for an old boss years ago, and had similar conversations with marketers/etc. My skin crawls for you. And you are so polite in return!

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  3. Oh wow. Unbelievable...
    I wonder whether he's finally going to realize that Sandra is never going to be in the office.

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  4. Ah hahaha determined little cuss, isn't he? Run away! Run away! I can see it now, 'The new approach to landing an agent: badgering!' +A for reading the 'How to get a contract *cough* restraining order *cough*', Michael. Oooy

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  5. Yikes!!! Hopefully he doesn't get the courage to come in.

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  6. I kind of feel sorry for the poor guy. He's obviously has some issues that extends far beyond the bankruptcy, though. Like candyland said, I hope he doesn't get the courage to come in. I never understand people who call agencies to talk about their MS. I get nervous to speak to people on the phone when they're expecting my call. :D

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  7. Well that puts my twitter-stalking to shame. :-)

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  8. One of the first adventures I had in the office; learning about all the people with disorders that contact us. My mum, a psychiatrist, read a few letters I shared with her once, and she was shocked at the spectrum: paranoid disorder, schizophrenic, anxiety disorder...

    Very funny to read, very sad to think about, very dangerous to get involved in...

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  9. Wow, that's creepy. I think the more you engage him, the worse it will become. Find his MS and Reject it. Maybe you could "suggest" some other publishers that might be interested in his work.

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  10. Peter has a fabulous idea with suggestions. Do you have any enemies in the industry?

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  11. It wasn't me. Honest. My name's not even Michael. Is Sandra in yet?

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  12. The entire publishing industry is so overwhelmed by all the crazies, it's a wonder you guys get anything done, ever. As someone still sitting patiently in slush piles all over the country, I get very frustrated. People like this just waste time and take away from an agent or editors ability to get to the rest of us normal people.

    Wait, am I normal? Am I even qualified to say that?

    Thanks for a laugh.

    - Liz

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  13. Yeesh! I wonder if he's checking in with a lot of agents this way or if the Sandra Dijkstra Agency is just lucky. : p I hope he gets a clue soon!

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  14. Wow you almost feel sorry for the guy, but it's also creepy. Wish you luck! Just discovered your blog! Enjoying it so far :)

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  15. At least it's over the phone! I work at B&N, and have at least 2 stalkers. Code Adam = missing child, Code Mary Shelly = Stalker.

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