April 10, 2024 at 7:28 pm

A Lobbyist Insulted A Senator’s Aide And Stole His Personal Pen. Her Actions Cost Her To Miss Out On $250,000.

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA/@karendonner

Yes, being nice to EVERYONE and treating them with respect is the right thing to do, BUT it’s also smart from a business perspective!

Hey, just being honest…

And this story illustrates that point perfectly.

Let’s see what happened!

The $250,000 pen.

“One of my best friends, “Alex,” was a staffer in a state legislative office.

His boss was head of a key Senate budget committee, so there were always people coming to solicit her support for a particular project or grant or whatever.

Here she comes…

Someone representing an arts program that was looking for a $250K grant is waiting (I’ll call her “LobbyAnn.*) She comes up to the reception desk and asks for a pen. The Senator keeps giveaway pens with her name on them in stock – reasonably nice ones – so Alex reaches over to the can where the pens are.

LobbyAnn says something along the lines of “well then the Senator will know that I showed up without a pen.” (So what?) She looks across the desk.

Alex has some work spread out with his own favorite pen -an expensive one with lapis inlay,and engraved with his name and term of office of a campus organization.Lobbyann reaches over, snatches it up and drops it in her purse.

I don’t think so…

Alex, who is a very polite person, is completely gobsmacked and then tells LobbyAnn that’s his personal pen and not up for grabs.

LobbiAnn gives him a contemptuous look and refuses, very rudely – one of the sad/funny things about this story is that she uses a slur that Alex was not sure was a reference to his heritage (Asian) or his perceived ********* (oddly enough given the nature of the stolen object, either slur ended with “ink.”).

Alex, confused and deeply upset, sits back down while LobbyAnn flounces back to the waiting area.

In a few minutes the senator comes out to get LobbyAnn. As they’re walking past Alex’s desk he stands up and says in a very clear voice, “I’m going to need my pen back.”

LobbyAnn stops in her tracks, as does the Senator, and Alex says, calmly, “I may be a (slur) or a (slur), whatever you want to call me, but that pen is precious to me, you stole it right off this desk and I want it back.”

Payback time!

The Senator kind of gasps and says “She stole your lapis pen? She called you a (slur)?” and then she turns to LobbyAnn, who is frantically fishing around in her purse and stammering something about just borrowing it, and says “Give it back.”

Once the pen is back in Alex’s hands, the Senator says to Alex “come on back, I need you,” and turns and walks back into her office, leaving LobbyAnn standing there as the Senator shuts the inner office door in her face.

Then the Senator picks up her purse, smiles a big bright smile and says “Want Starbucks?” So she and Alex go out the side door and across the street.

They could see the front door of the office from the Starbucks. It apparently took LobbyAnn about five minutes to realize how bad she’d messed up, and that she was not going to see the Senator that day or any day – and that the project she was going to ask for money toward was probably doomed as well.

She’d lined up strong support in the House, so it might have made it through, though it was not the kind of project the Senator favored.

When she came slinking out, she almost certainly saw Alex and the Senator sitting there drinking their drinks.

Alex always ends this story with “That was the best coffee I’ve ever had.”

Here’s how people responded.

One reader spoke THE TRUTH.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another Reddit user shared their own story.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person talked about how it works at Zappos.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another reader landed a job because they were nice to a receptionist.

Source: Reddit/AITA

She really blew it!

What a story!

If you liked that post, check out this story about a customer who insists that their credit card works, and finds out that isn’t the case.