I came home to my voicemail light blinking. I dropped my bag on the kitchen counter and checked for my messages. There were two. One, just a telemarketer doing its thing and the other, worthy of my attention.
I wrote down the particulars on a corner of a white envelope I found on a pile of the day’s mail and dialed the number a few seconds later.
“Welcome to Bugs Bunny, can I help you?”, that was a woman’s voice at the end of the line.
“Hello, how are you? Someone called me from your office but I can’t remember who it was. I think…”.
I was taken off guard. I thought I was dialing a direct number and not a switchboard. I hoped to reach “the person” and not the receptionist. I immediately sensed that something was completely amiss as soon as she said…
“Do you have a name?”
“No. Perhaps Melanie?” I replied!
“There is no such person as Melanie here. Do you have another name?”. By now, I realized that I did not have the person’s name, I had not written it down.
“I don’t but I know it was a lady. I can’t remember her name. Is there anyway you can find out who the person was, please?”
“No, I can’t. I am sorry but the person you indicated, doesn’t work here. I can’t help you!”.
Why did I get the impression that I was being rushed?!
“Oh ok, thank you.” I said.
I put down the phone and accessed the voicemail again, crossing my fingers, hoping I had not deleted the data but it was not to be.
I “screamed” for a “dislike” button right about now as soon as I realized that in a bit of luck, I was living a nightmare. I had indeed deleted the message and there was nothing I could do about it.
Devastated but not dissuaded, call it for what it was worth, desperate, I called her back, hoping I could persuade her to assist me. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind to read up the names of the ladies who work there aloud to see if any would jolt my memory but she refused.
“Mam, I know I called you before but I really need your help. Can you do me a favor please, can you read out the names of the ladies who work there to see if I could recognize the name?”, I asked!
“No, I can’t. I WORK ON THE SWITCH BOARD!”.
And?… I thought to myself. What does it have anything to do with helping someone? Can someone please explain it to me?
“Can you please try?”, I attempted again. She was probably a little annoyed with me by now but I had nothing to lose, so I tried.
“No, I can’t because I am too busy! Listen, there are 30 people who work here, and…”
“Mme, can you do me a favor, please? Can you please don’t say “I am too busy” to anybody specially when the person is just trying to obtain an information? No one is ever “busy” for another.”
One should always create time, being that a second or millisecond, especially if you work in customer service. I must confess, I was a little peeved right about now but decided to remain calm.
“Ok mam…”, her voice unruffled now, “I understand. I can take your name and number, and pass it around. Perhaps, someone will recall calling you.”
“Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t take much…”,
“Mme, can I have your name and phone number please?”. I hastily gave her the coordinates but call me cynic, that will never happen. Remember, a little modesty can take you long ways.
“Thank you for your help!”, I said and hung up the phone.