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Please help the mystery man

I had a strange phone call as I sat down to write this.

The caller was bringing a subscription delivery issue to my attention, which happens from time to time.

I am glad to help.

But what was odd was the caller was not the person who was having the delivery problem. He told me the person with the problem was a buddy of his.

Who is this buddy?

I don’t know. The caller didn’t tell me.

Why was the buddy not calling me himself? I don’t know, the caller didn’t tell me.

But what he did tell me was that we should straighten out the problem his buddy was having getting the issues.

As you might expect, I was starting to feel a little frustrated at trying to correct something that was not being identified.

At one point in the conversation, the caller told me he had given his buddy a number to call.

I asked him if the number he had provided was mine.

The caller said no.

I asked if I could have his buddy’s phone number. The caller said no.

I asked the caller to give my number to his buddy with a request that his buddy use it to telephone the Iola office.

I also told him the name of the person in the circulation department who would personally work to correct whatever the problem might be. I provided her extension number.

That seemed to satisfy the caller. Our conversation came to an end.

But I am still mystified why the buddy did not call me and why I was kept in the dark about the particulars of the problem.

This is new.

In my experience, I have never had a problem presented to me in this way – or I suppose I should write I have never had a problem not presented to me in this way.

I hope this is the only time this happens, because correcting a problem for someone I don’t know and cannot contact is beyond my capabilities.

I am glad the caller decided to intervene by calling the editor. That, at least, was a step forward.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."