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Host Ira Glass talks with Chris, who worked for a company that helped deaf people talk over the phone with hearing people. The deaf person would type what they wanted Chris to say, and Chris would say it, then type back the response from the hearing person on the line.

Act Two: Stuck Inside Of Memphis

Sal Princiatta is a New York fireman whose unit lost a lot of men on September 11th. Beth Landau was a friend of Sal's, and a couple months ago, she orchestrated a trip to Memphis for Sal and the other guys at the firehouse.


We hear three stories of how conflicts are resolved in offices. Two of those stories come from sociologist Calvin Morrill, who studied the executive suites at a number of large companies in his book The Executive Way: Conflict Management in Corporations.

Act Two: Sheetcakes In The Conference Room, Whiskey After Dark

David Rakoff discusses the world of birthdays and other holidays, as they're celebrated on the job... and what happens when you call yourself an editorial assistant but the editor you're assisting calls you a secretary. He read this story before a live audience at Town Hall in New York City, during a This American Life live show.

Act Four: A Fate Most Of Us Fear

Jonathan Goldstein took a telemarketing job as a kind of temporary Plan B, never suspecting that it would be a ten year chapter in his life.