“The chancellor isn’t granting any media interviews,” the secretary said. “If you’d like, I can email you an official statement from his office that addresses your questions.”

“If you’ll forgive me for asking, ma’am,” I said, trying to put on my most obsequiously polite voice, “why is that? It seems like he’d want to keep the media updated.”

A huff on the other end of the line. “The chancellor is dedicating himself to learning about his new job and taking care of the university community in a time of crisis,” said the secretary. “Speaking with fake journalists is just a waste of his time when everything you need is right there in the daily emails.”

I tensed up for a moment when she mentioned ‘fake journalists’ before realizing she was harping on the old thought-terminating cliche of ‘fake news’ rather than somehow having cottoned to the fact that I was, in fact, an impostor journalist. “I’m not a student, faculty member, or staff person,” I said, telling the truth for once to see where it’d get me. “How am I supposed to read those emails?”

“Take a class. They’re cheap. Maybe learn how to write better, while you’re at it. I saw no less than seven typos in the Sunday issue.”

“Did you buy it?” I asked.

“Of course not!” the secretary said. “I was glancing at it in the checkout line. I don’t agree with your paper’s liberal bias.”

“You’ll have to take up the typos up with my boss, then,” I said. “They fired the copy editor because not enough people were buying papers.”

A click. “Well,” I said into the silent receiver. “If you’re listening to this for training purposes, perhaps you can tell me what she’s done wrong here today.”

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