Extraordinary Service

by Marc D. Allan


When I called Verizon, the guy who answered said his name was Richie and asked how he could provide me with excellent service today.


So I told him company’s coming and I could use some help around the house.


He told me he was in Nashville, Tennessee, or he would come right over.


“C’mon,” I said. “I’m only four hours north of you. Be a come-over kind of guy, Richie.”


Then he helped me with my billing question and we hung up.


Four hours later, the doorbell rang. It was Richie. “I’m here to provide you with excellent service,” he said. “But I don’t do windows.”


Richie was a big help. He swept the living room, vacuumed the upstairs and emptied the dishwasher. He even raked the dead leaves out of the flower beds.


“Excellent service!” I said. “Do you do anything else?”


He winked and said no, because Verizon only offers excellent service, and that would be extraordinary service, which Verizon specifically does not promise due to federal and local laws. Verizon is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of reference to, or reliance on any information gathered herein. Under no circumstances should Verizon or its suppliers, resellers, partners or their respective affiliates be liable for any indirect, incidental, consequential, special, exemplary or punitive damages arising from or relating to the service provided upon this visit.

“Is there anything else I can help you with today?” he asked.


“No,” I sighed.


“Thank you for calling Verizon,” he said.


Marc Allan is finishing his MFA at Butler University in Indianapolis. He was a journalist for 24 years before going to work at Butler, where he is news manager and an adjunct professor of journalism. His fiction has appeared in kairoslit.com and the latest issue of So It Goes, the literary magazine of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. His journalism has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the Indianapolis Star, Writer's Digest and many other newspapers and magazines, and he is co-author of the book "Too Smart for the Ivy League: How to Give Your Kids the Best College Education for the Least Amount of Money."