Make up an excuse and cover it well
Back in my working days, I used to regularly be peeved by journalists calling me looking for juicy bits of news. Oh, the excuses I used to come up with to get off the phone with them!
While I was drinking down at the Captain’s Bar last weekend, a young journalist sitting next to me started to bemoan the carelessness of her banker interviewees. I couldn’t help but laugh at the familiarity of her story as she told me about one particular banker who had gotten sloppy in dodging her calls.
The young reporter had run into the usual excuses — the banker was out to lunch or he was in a meeting.
But that day when she called the banker after seeing him at a conference earlier in the week, his colleague answered the phone. The journalist said that she introduced herself properly, identifying her publication and who she was hoping to speak to.
“Okay, I’ll transfer your call, please wait a moment,” the colleague said.
However, instead of being transferred, the journalist heard the colleague turn to the sought banker, asking if he knew the young scribe. However, he forgot to mute the phone and she heard every word of the banker’s rejection.
“Tell her I’m not here,” he said.
After laughing at this rebuff, the colleague turned back to the phone to tell the journalist: “Sorry, he is not at his desk right now, please call back later.”
I ended up buying the poor girl a drink after her tale. I hope it makes up for all the journalists I’ve snubbed in the past.