On a phone call to correct a mistake, I got set up for a fall.
The other day I made a phone call about a product I had purchased. I was hoping to get some help for a mistake I had made in ordering, but boy did it ever turn bad!
I had ordered a portable coat rack for my church and, when it came, I realized it was not going to work well at all.
The coat rack holds a high volume of coats and if we lived in a southern climate it would have worked perfectly. But here in Canada, we would be using it mostly over the winter months and there is no way it would work.
Instead of a bar that you would put hangers on, it came with hooks – 120 hooks to be exact – in groups of three.
This was a completely foreign concept to me, and somehow I thought we would still be able to use hangers on this coat rack.
When it arrived, however, I realized pretty quickly that hangers wouldn’t work. So I made the call and got set up.
Setups are common, especially for jokes. Jokes usually involve a rule of three: You set up a joke with two things that get the audience thinking in one direction, and then you slip in a third line – the punch line – that takes them in a different direction than they were thinking.
… Like what one comedian put on his answering machine: “Sorry, I can’t come to the phone right now. I’m either speaking at a large conference, appearing on the Jimmy Fallon show, or I’m taking a nap. Please leave a message. I’ll call you back when I wake up.”
The third response throws a curve ball. And speaking of curve balls, baseball pitchers use a setup to get batters to strike out. A pitcher might throw two fastballs for strikes and then, for the third strike, throw an off-speed pitch like a change-up or slow curve to fool the batter.
This is exactly how I got set up. I made my phone call, talked to a receptionist, and told her my story. She very pleasantly said she would put me through to customer service.
The customer service person was also very friendly and you could tell she was there to help. But when she found out I was calling from Canada, she said, “I’m sorry. I will put you through to our Canadian office.”
A few seconds later, I got this guy on the phone who said in a gruff way, “What’s your issue?” Right away I could tell he didn’t want to help me at all.
I explained my mistake in ordering and he responded with, “I will have to check to see if they will take a return. It has to be in its original box, and you will have to pay a 15% restocking charge and make your own arrangements to ship it back.”
Did you see that? I got set up by two very pleasant people and then hit by the punch line from out of nowhere!
Here’s the thing: Life is often a setup. Things are going well, you expect more of the same, and then, the punch line, the curve ball and you never saw it coming. God is perfect for the setups in life. Just lean into Him to keep yourself from falling apart. He’ll get you through.
Question: How do you normally deal with being set up? Leave your comments below.