"Are you cute?" the 20-something man on the other end of the phone asked me. I felt startled. I had cold-called him from an insurance agency to set appointments for an agent. The young man had recently bought a new truck and was open to the idea of switching insurance companies.
I was an 18-year-old freshman at BYU, just trying to earn some extra cash without having to work much. I think it was my second day on the job.
"No," I answered without much thought. I was at least 40 lbs overweight and a poor dresser. Although I hoped that someone would find me cute, I was far from fitting the traditional definition.
"Ah," the voice on the other end of the phone purred, "that means you're really cute."
"No!" I said getting more insistent, "No!"
"I'm coming down there," the guy announced.
"Where?" I asked.
"To the insurance place. Maybe, then I can convince you to go out with me."
I felt panicked. I had given this man, through the course of conversation, important details about where I was including the address of the insurance office.
I hung up the phone and turned to the other girls. I explained that there was a man coming to see me. They had to tell him that "Jenna" had gone home and I would make the rest of my calls using the name "Kathy." Although these girls are not normally ones who would have been my friends, they agreed.
It felt like moments later the guy showed up. He asked for me, but the girls kept their promise and told him I had left. He flirted unabashedly with the girls there, trying to figure out which one of them had actually called. He never even looked at me, the fat girl in the corner still making phone calls.
One of the sales agents working late in a back office heard kind of a commotion as this guy and his friend requested looking around the office, sure that the beautiful, albeit humble, Jenna was there somewhere. The agent told the young man that the office was closed, followed him down and locked the door.
I quit the next day.
More than anything, I feared this man's reaction. The look of disgust that would have inevitably crossed his face when he learned that I--I was the caller with the cute voice. I doubt he would have asked me out, especially once he saw me, and I doubted even more that he would believe me. If the other girls said, "There. That one's Jenna." I expect that he would have say, Can't be. And he would have kept pressing for the "real answer."
So what's the truth about you? Are you cute?