The phone rang. I answered it. That is always a mistake. The caller identified herself as a "reporting student" from the university. She said she was writing a paper and wanted a quote from a local business on whether or not we were affected by this down-turn in the economy.
I was not touching that. Although it is probably harmless, any paper that could potentially be published could affect our business and I don't want my name and unofficial statement tied to it. I politely told her that she would get the best answer if she called back tomorrow and asked to speak with the manager. She seemed irritated that I wouldn't just tell her something. I don't care what sort of dead-line she has; call me paranoid, but I am not potentially compromising my job so that some 19-year-old can finish the paper she has put off until the last minute. And doesn't it seem like a reporter would come across reluctant interviewees and she should just learn to deal with it?
I am probably being a bitch and reading more emotion into the conversation than actually was there. Or maybe not. I am no reporting student, writing for grades and milking financial aid; I am just a clerk and there are a hundred people more educated than me waiting to take my job.