Your two cents: ‘Is this…?’

For the Bulletin staff, having your phone number at the end of your story often means fielding calls from readers who think you’re the contact for that company, nonprofit or issue, even when the body of the story contains contact information. Evidently they just impatiently skip to the end. Stories about job fairs, for instance, always prompt one or more calls to the reporter from readers, to use the term loosely, who want a job.

In that spirit, I had this exchange with a caller recently.

Me, picking up: Newsroom, David Allen.

Caller: Is this Mel’s Drive-In?

Me.: …

Me: This is the Daily Bulletin newsroom.

Caller: This isn’t Mel’s Drive-In?

Me: This is the newspaper. Mel’s closed two or three years ago.

Caller: I was reading about Mel’s Drive-In on the Internet and your number was there.

Me: Yes, I work for a newspaper, and I wrote about Mel’s when it closed. That was three or four years ago.

Caller: Oh.

For the record, Mel’s closed in October 2010. And if you do a Google search for “Mel’s Drive-In Rancho Cucamonga,” my column is indeed one of the top results, under the headline: “Farewell to Mel’s Drive-In, which is driving out.” Which would seem to be a pretty good tipoff the restaurant isn’t there anymore, but maybe that’s just me.

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  • DebB

    This might be completely unrelated (or it might fall under the category of people not paying attention when they read) but I just had to share it with you.

    When I opened my browser this morning, one of the featured headlines on my Earthlink start page was “Interns Are Getting Younger As Companies Higher From High Schools”. Maybe one of them wrote this headline!

    Fortunately, when I clicked on the link, the article’s headline had the correct spelling.

    • davidallen909

      You were paying attention when you read!

  • http://empoprise-bi.blogspot.com/ John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises)

    Obviously the caller could not claim, “I’m a big fan of Mel’s. I go there every week.”

    • davidallen909

      Maybe she was planning her every-five-year visit.

  • Bob Terry

    David, maybe they were really asking about Mel’s Hamburgers in Pomona at Holt & Palomares. You know the place I told you about that had separate windows for burgers/drinks and one for fries? Its now another smoke shop/ c-store with an occasional “lady of the afternoon” hanging around. Maybe that caller got caught up in a Doritos time machine.

    • davidallen909

      Or maybe she was phoning about Mel’s Diner from the 1970s sitcom “Alice.” If you don’t think so, you can kiss my grits.