Filling out forms is nobody’s idea of a good time. Indeed, bureaucracy can sometimes get way out of hand – especially when it comes to things like insurance. But it’s still important to make sure you’ve ticked every box and completed everything you need to. And to do that, you need to know exactly what’s being asked of you. Unfortunately for this woman, she didn’t quite understand what she was supposed to do – much to the amusement of her friends and family.
Alyssa Stringfellow hails from Arkansas, where she works as a teacher, dealing with special needs kids. But while the 25-year-old spends her days instructing younger minds, she didn’t manage to accurately follow instructions herself on this occasion.
Like most young people, Stringfellow found that her car insurance premiums were sky high. And one possible way to bring down your insurance costs is to get yourself insured on someone else’s policy. So that’s exactly what Stringfellow attempted to do.
Indeed, she turned to her grandmother, who agreed it would be a good idea to find out how much it would cost to get Stringfellow added to her car insurance policy. To even get that far, though, a whole lot of bureaucracy was involved.
First, the insurance company asked Stringfellow to send over some documents and details. Among these were photographs of her car, showing it from the front and sides. When Stringfellow’s grandmother relayed this information to her, however, she simply told her granddaughter that they needed “a picture straight on and a picture taken from each side.”
And Stringfellow subsequently managed to spectacularly misinterpret the insurance company’s request. While she did indeed send over details such as her driver’s license number and date of birth, she didn’t quite get the next part of the insurer’s instructions right.
In fact, she didn’t send over pictures of her car at all. Instead, she sent over photos of her own front and side views. Yes, Stringfellow sent the insurance company several images of herself, taken from various angles, in lieu of the car that she was trying to get insured.
She had even asked her mom to take the photos, who willingly obliged. And while both women thought it was super weird that the insurance company had asked for pictures of Alyssa, that still didn’t stop either of them from going through with it.
That evening, Stringfellow emailed over the images to the insurance agent. And the next day, he replied – but it probably wasn’t the response that she was expecting. He did play down the whole misunderstanding, though, no doubt much to the relief of Stringfellow. “I am going to need pictures like you just took, except it needs to be of your vehicle,” he wrote.
Unsurprisingly, the young teacher had also been texted by her grandmother, who was slightly less tactful. “Alyssa Rachael, did you send him pictures of YOURSELF!? It was supposed to be of your car!” she wrote. Rather than being angry, however, Stringfellow’s grandmother was simply amused.
In fact, the insurance company had already been in touch with her to explain the misunderstanding. And it turned out that both Stringfellow’s grandmother and the agent had been in fits of laughter for “a good five minutes,” according to her embarrassed granddaughter.
Moreover, they weren’t the only ones to find Stringfellow’s gaffe amusing. In fact, pretty much everyone at the school she works in saw the funny side. So, Stringfellow had a choice to make: she could hide away or simply own her embarrassment. Thankfully, she decided to do the latter.
Yes, she actually went ahead and put up a post about the error on her Facebook page. “I have been debating on whether or not to post this all day because it is PRETTY embarrassing to admit, but I have decided to go ahead and share my really, really… REALLY blonde moment with you guys,” she wrote. “Hopefully you’ll get a good laugh out of it once I’m done.”
Since making the post in November 2017, which included the pictures that she sent to the insurance company, her story has had more than 40,000 reactions and 11,000 comments, as well as being shared over 23,000 times. And most of those commenting found her story just as amusing as her friends and family had.
“I am crying from laughing so much,” wrote one user, Jessica Rivera Cullison. “This was great, I can totally relate!” Shirley Bebereia also tried to help Stringfellow look on the bright side, writing, “I bet the insurance employees loved it. You probably made their day.”
Others, meanwhile, empathized with the way in which Stringfellow had followed the instructions. “Don’t feel bad,” wrote Barry Timmins. “It is something I would probably do also.” And Valerie Granado chimed in, “Totally sounds like something I would do.”
“The guy from the insurance company rang, laughing his head off after he received my email,” Stringfellow told The Sun. “I was totally embarrassed and mortified that his entire office had seen my photos. I did think it was strange that he wanted photos of me, but I just thought he must need them to identify who I was. It was such a blonde moment but it has given so many people a laugh that I don’t care anymore.”
Whether she cares or not, however, Stringfellow can at least take solace in the fact that she isn’t the first person to make this mistake. Indeed, back in 2016 Miranda Santos tweeted a picture of the time her mother made exactly the same error when dealing with her insurance company.
That particular blunder also went viral at the time, racking up nearly 20,000 retweets and almost 30,000 likes. Yes, it seems that Stringfellow’s slip-up isn’t quite as unique as she might have thought. But no matter how many times it happens, it’s still hilarious.
Fortunately, Stringfellow has a sense of humor about herself and shared her monumental mistake with the world – no matter how embarrassing it was. Somehow, though, we don’t think that she’ll be taking every instruction she receives quite so literally in the future.