867-5309 redux

I get a lot of calls at work. The phone rings all day. Many of the calls are from people wanting to sign up for classes. I answer questions about what we offer and put people on the waiting list. Sometimes it gets cute when I have to try to talk with prospective ESOL students who don’t speak much English, sometimes it get funny when I have to use my Spanish and the caller takes me off-script and expects me to be just as fluent and casual talking about something other than registrations and class schedules.

Yesterday a man called to find out about GED classes. I told him what he needed to know and took his info for the waiting list. As we said our goodbyes, he commented that I had a nice voice. Uh, ok, whatever. I mean, I do have a nice voice. I know this because people are always telling me. (Personally, I’d rather have Lauren Bacall’s voice. I think mine tends to be a bit girly, but everyone else seems to like it.) I thanked him, and we hung up.

The phone rings again. I pick up. “Adult Education,” I said in my lovely, lilting voice … or just my regular I’m-answering-the-phone-at-work voice. And it’s the guy again. Ok, not so unusual. People often call right back because they’ve remembered another question they meant to ask. Not this guy. What he forgot was to tell me that he was going to take me out to dinner. Not ask, but tell. Right. (He must have also forgotten that I am a whole separate, free-thinking, independent person. Whatever.) I helped him know that he wouldn’t be taking me out to dinner and got him off the phone.

The phone rings again. It’s him, of course. This time he forgot to chuckle breathlessly when I say, “Adult Education.” And to say, “I’ll see you soon, sweetie,” and hang up before I can respond. Yeah. Can you say ‘tool’?

The phone rings again. It’s him again. This time he forgot to say, “You look as good as you always do,” which I can only imagine is meant to freak me out, make me think he’s outside my window watching me, that he has watched me before. And I’m thinking that I’m supposed to be so intimidated by his stalking that I will immediately declare my crazy-making desire to have wild, porn-star sex with him and not call the cops. Or something.

Ok, here’s the part I like, the part where I realize I can actually turn this annoyance into something amusing. This man has a Memento-like problem. The short-term of his short-term memory is about 90 seconds. Sad. Very sad. You see, he, um … called to find out about our GED classes … and I put him on the GED waiting list. That means I have his name. I have his address. I have his phone number. Oh yeah: and we have caller ID at work.

So the phone rings again and I see his number. I pick up. “Hey, Jimmy,” I say. “Guess what? I’ve got your phone number and your address. I know your full name. And the moment I hang up on you, I’ll be calling the police and sharing all of your information with them. You have a nice day, now.” I hang up on his sputtering.

My high school aptitude tests said I would make an excellent mechanic, so it’s no surprise that I’m good with tools.


6 thoughts on “867-5309 redux

  1. aka Mopsy

    Excellent closing, GriGi. The guy’s probably huddled under his bed, quaking at the sound of each passing police car or fire truck’s siren. You rock.


  2. Oh, that’s a very entertaining story. (Though I’m somewhat creeped out on your behalf. So glad you showed him who had the power.)

    And your last line cracks me up.


  3. Well, it got progressively wierder but had it not been a perspective student but instead a handsome man at the wedding of some friend(so you know he’s not a total psycho), I think I’d rather like some man telling me he was going to take me to dinner all authoritative like. I guess it’s all about context.

    BTW, I saw you are up for review at Ask… so I came to get the preview and I love your website, whatever they deign to give you. You talk about important things and not important things with equal aplomb.


  4. Hey, Mopsy– I don’t know if I rock. I have to admit that I was shaking for a while after that last call. It made him go away, but it also really weirded me out.

    Alejna– Having that feeling, that I had taken the power in the situation, was the thing that stopped me from shaking. That realization that I could think and act my way out of the situation so quickly. I like how calm power made me feel. Gotta get me some more of that!

    Formerly Fun– Oh definitely context makes a difference … but even with a guy met at a friend’s wedding the quick turn to smarminess and intimidation would turn me off.

    Thanks for checking out the page, and thanks for the compliment. I’m pretty much quaking in my boots waiting for the review but sooo curious to hear what they have to say. I want this page to be a good reflection of my writing and the wacky motion of my brain, and they definitely seem to take that stuff seriously.


  5. Good for you. As someone who was harrassed by someone on the phone in college for weeks and had to call the police to come and answer my phone before he would go away, I thank you — maybe he won’t harrass the next person who will be too scared to know what to do. Probably not but maybe. Good on ya!


  6. I’m sorry you had to go through that, Liza. I really can’t wrap my brain around how anyone feels this kind of behavior is ok. I don’t know if I think my sort-of-quick thinking will change Jimmy in any way. I know he hasn’t called me back, but that surely only means he thinks I’m a _______ (fill in whatever crude term for a woman or a part of her anatomy you think he might prefer).


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