A woman calls me up about her manuscript. She sent it in a while back and hasn't heard from us. I have no record of it getting declined, but that doesn't mean anything. We don't track a lot of our declines. Well, she's sure that the mistake is ours.
Can she send it again?
Is there a fax number or email she can send it to, since it's been so long since the original submission? And can she get her response emailed to her?
Ah. If she's read our submission guidelines (always a long shot, to my continuing frustration), she knows she's asking for two separate kinds of special treatment.
She should have tried this on me in the morning. At the end of the day I'm tired, and I practice being a hardass.
Look. It's possible we made a mistake. It's possible the post office made a mistake. It's possible she made a mistake. I have no proof that the manuscript was ever submitted to us in the first place, except for her word for it.
She's probably used to businesses graciously assuming it was their mistake in such circumstances. That's because to most businesses, she is a Valued Customer.
But she isn't a Valued Customer here. "Valued Customer" in my terms means an author who I know and whose work I know I can sell.
What she is is one of the 15,000 people every year who want us to take the time to read their manuscripts--99.99% (I'm not exaggerating) of which will be a waste of our time.
So no. No special treatment today.