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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Making a Mess/Clearing It Up

Most writers have a difficulty in common: we work from home a lot of the time.

Now, this has benefits. There's no need to get dressed before you start work and you can listen to music while you work as loudly as you deem necessary. However, one significant pitfall which I've been encountering lately is the peril of the phone call.

I admit to being a little frustrated when somebody I know calls. I've been having grandmother issues lately and I've spoken to her everyday for considerable periods of time. Does that frustrate me? Yes, but she's more important than my frustration. However, I haven't yet extended the same courtesy to the cold callers who are frequently trying to sell us something. Usually I just ignore their calls but today I was rather irate, having bashed my knee on the filing cabinet in a mad rush to get there. So I answered it quite abruptly.

Woman: Hello, can I speak to Mr or Mrs Brown please?

Me: No. And, do you know what, I wish you'd stop calling like this. If you've got something to say you leave a message. You don't just repeatedly call.

Woman: I'm sorry, have we got the wrong number?

Me: No, you've got the right number.

Woman: Is that Mrs Brown I'm speaking to?

Me: No, this is Miss Brown. Mrs Brown's dead.

Woman: (Pause) Look, it was just a courtesy call. I'll take you off the list.

As soon as I hung up I felt terrible. After all, the woman had only been doing her job. In fact, I didn't even find out who she was calling on behalf of. I just lost it with the first person I came across because they were disturbing my PhD time.

I got a little upset and went into town to cool off. When I came back I decided it was bothering me, not knowing who I'd been so rude to. So I called the number back. It was British Gas.

At this point my stomach dropped out. You see, we'd had some work done last week, and the fact that it was a 'courtesy call' suddenly made sense. I felt lousy. Out of the four numbers repeatedly calling over the last few weeks I'd yelled at the legitimate one. To combat the hideous way I felt I called them back and apologised profusely to a very nice operator for a good five minutes. To be honest, he seemed astonished that someone was apologising for being horrible.

The trouble is, I feel better now, but I still yelled at someone when they didn't deserve it. I pride myself on absorbing all the rubbish daily life throws at me and getting rid of it all at a later date. I suppose today was the later date.


Texanne said...

Sometimes you just have more stress than you can deal with--and then you crack your knee. Owie! I hope that your apology got to the right person. You know what? You are probably famous now, down at the gas company office because you apologized. Hope your gran feels better soon. :)TX

PS--lovely colors here!

CharmedLassie said...

I'd like to be famous!

And, thanks, I do love this template now - finally found one I'm happy with!