Monday, May 14, 2012

MN or MT

I get some of the strangest phone calls at work some days. The winner of today's eye-roll award goes to the pleasant woman with the slightly southern accent. I had answered the phone in my normal manner and politely told her that the person (PersonX) she was looking for didn't work for our company on this campus.

She was obviously a product rep who was determined to follow up on a lead. She explained that PersonX was the campus marketing director for the dining service on the Missoula campus, and asked if I was sure she didn't work for us. Here's how the rest of our conversation went:

ME: "Missoula? Minnesota? I've never heard of a Missoula, Minnesota, but there is one in Montana."
Product Rep: "Oh, well I don't know about that. It's spelled M-I-S-S-O-U-L-A, and the information we have is that PersonX is the marketing director."
ME: "And it says that she's in Missoula, Minnesota?" (I'm wracking my brain at this point, because while I know I haven't heard the name of every city in Minnesota I'm also pretty sure there isn't a Missoula).
Product Rep: "It says Missoula, MT"
Me: "Wait, what? Did you just say M-T?"
Product Rep: "Yes, M-T"
Me: "That's Montana" (I try to say this in the nicest possible way I can, because darn it, there goes another 5 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.)
Product Rep: "hmm" (pause while I hear the clicking of keys) "So it is. Well, that's what happened" (she laughs) "Thanks so much sweetie, that was very helpful. You have a great day!"
Me: "You're welcome and good luck."

After I get off the phone I turn around and jokingly ask the room if anyone can tell me the abbreviation for Minnesota. A co-worker scoffingly asked if I was serious (my voice was apparently not dripping with enough sarcasm). Upon hearing that I was, in fact, serious he replies with the expected "M-N". To which I replied "Good. I was just checking to see if anyone here thought it might possibly be M-T".

"M-T" he says thoughtfully, "I don't think there's any state that's abbreviated that way." It was at this point that my forehead was once again introduced to my desk.

So, in the spirit of learning, I offer up a small Social Studies/Geography lesson for anyone who may be confused:

MT = Montana          MN = Minnesota
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