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Routine Problems; How Wonderful
October 01, 2008



I kept one eye on the financial markets all day yesterday. I am sure I was not alone.

Beyond that, though, it was a pretty routine day with routine calls. I guess I need that.

I had one telephone call from an older collector who called me up to ask for the Mint's telephone number.

I asked him what it was he wanted to get from the Mint, thinking that perhaps he was after mintage statistics, which has been a popular call this month.

That was not the case.

He replied, "I want to buy some coins."

He did not add, "you idiot," but that was his tone of voice.

I told him the number is 1 (800) USA-Mint.

"It doesn't work. I need a number that works. Give me somebody (else) who has a number that works."

"Well, I replied, everyone here has the same number I do. It is the Mint order number."

We went round and round a bit. It seems like it takes three repetitions when I cannot give callers what they think they want. I tried to emphasize my point by saying that I know it is the Mint order line because I have used it regularly over the years. If it was out of order at the moment, I did not know, but it is the correct number.

He insisted it wasn't. He said he got a woman who wanted to party on that line. He said he even tried the line for the hearing impaired and said that didn't work either.

I said I would call and check. He said he wanted to hang on while I did so.

I telephoned the order number and it connected right away without problem. Good news except I accidentally cut off the caller before I could tell him.



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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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