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.