Taking My Hacks

A Day in the Life

Joe Orlando


A lot of people speculate about what it's like to be in my shoes on a day-to-day basis. Of course, they are not interested in what I eat for breakfast or what I do in my spare time. People want to know what it's like to work at PSA each day, to understand what types of challenges I face.

One of the things I like about working here is being involved in so many things. From marketing to authentication, from writing to business development, from management to operations, there are so many aspects to my job and I thoroughly enjoy it. That said; the part of my job that most hobbyists and dealers wonder about is the customer service side of the role.

Since our company is often in the position of delivering bad news, it can get difficult at times, especially when you are dealing with someone who may have lost a lot of money on an item or when you are dealing with a person who simply refuses to listen to reason. It is hard, for anyone, to learn that an item they may have spent a ton of money on may not be authentic but there comes a point when you wish common sense would kick in.

I want to keep things light this month so let's look at three actual, yet comical, customer service experiences that occurred in recent months.

1) The Lou Gehrig Adirondack Gamer – I had a man... correction... a belligerent man, try to argue with me about a game-used bat submission that included an alleged Rawlings Adirondack Gehrig bat. For those of you who may not be familiar with bats, this is one of the most preposterous claims I have heard in my 10 years at PSA. Adirondack bats barely appeared in the big leagues in the 1950s, let alone 20-30 years earlier. This man would not let it go and wanted to argue about every bat in his order, none of which was remotely close to being the real deal.

2) The Tale of the Invisible Crease and the Super Loupe – I am sure you have heard of the old hypothetical, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Well, there may be a new one. If a submitter can't see a defect then, apparently, it doesn't exist. After I pointed out a crease on the front of a card, a submitter told me that since he couldn't see it under his special Super Loupe, it must not exist. This loupe was the size of a small dog with a huge light on the top. Even though you could see the crease with the naked eye, he continued to argue. I tried to tell him that the light was too bright but it didn't matter. In his mind, the Super Loupe was right and I was wrong.

3) Roger Maris Signs from the Grave – This was an all-time classic. The reality is, in many cases, autograph authentication comes down to an opinion, whether it passes or not. In some cases, an item can be positively identified as a forgery. This was one of those cases. This submitter assured us that he obtained the autograph in person (a claim that we hear often) and was baffled how we could fail the signed ball. The funny thing was that the ball was manufactured years after Maris passed away. Despite telling the submitter these facts, he continued to argue! Sometimes, there are no words.

In this hobby, there's no doubt that emotions can run high due to the subject matter and potential money involved so we are used to the occasional drama. That said, there are some instances, like the ones mentioned above, where all you can do is try to smile in the heat of the moment. Otherwise, you will drive yourself crazy.


Never get cheated,

Joe Orlando

Joe Orlando
Editor In Chief