On Tuesday, I worked from home and the phone wouldn't stop ringing from one Pearson person or another. It was a busy day, which is good and bad. Good because the day passes very quickly as I'm too busy to be clock-watching, and bad because, well...I was so busy!
I have a personal aversion to the phone, and I typically cringe when it rings. I don't feel obligated to answer it simply because it is ringing, and I refuse to go running through the house in an attempt to catch it before it goes to voice mail. However, when I'm working from home, I am obligated to answer the phone because I am working.
As a child, I had a love affair with the telephone. I would often call my best friend (who later become my 'stepsister'), Stephanie, and we would literally keep each other company on the phone all day long, breaking for nothing. This made our parents absolutely insane, and I seem to recall Stephanie telling me once that her parents got call-waiting (which was ground breaking then) because of this situation. We did not have call waiting, so my parents developed various rules about the phone. My father dictated that I get off the phone once an hour for ten minutes at a preset time so that he could get through at least once an hour to me, if the need arose. There were even instances when the operator broke into the line to tell me there was an emergency, and I had to get off the phone so the emergency call could get through to me. I wonder if the operator would still do this...
However, my antipathy probably stems from my time spent as a dispatch operator. My present work-busy doesn't even compare to the onslaught of phone calls I was expected to handle, and handle courteously. I can actually say that I was an excellent operator. My typing was impeccable, and my writing was clear and succinct. Most operators have a rather low literacy, I suspect, so it wasn't too difficult to excel at this job. However, I really hated it. I was attached to a headset for an 8 hour shift and it was grueling. I had to be nice to all sorts of idiots and in a super speedy fashion. There were almost always calls in the queue that hadn't even made it to someone's screen yet, and it was surprisingly stressful. I really began to hate talking on the phone, which was OK because the advent of the internet as we know it had begun. I didn't need to talk anymore!
When the phone rang on Tuesday afternoon, I was loathe to answer it...
I pressed the 'talk' button and I was greeted with the beeping noise of someone pushing the number pad on the other end. I kept saying, "Hello? Hello?"
No one said anything for a moment, but I could tell there was someone there.
All of a sudden this sweet voice loudly announced herself, "Hello Mama!". It was Lily. She seemed surprised to hear me on the other end, like some miracle had connected us! Very excitedly, she began to relay stories about her day at Evie's (our daycare provider who also plays a Grandmotherly role to Lil and Liam). It was difficult to understand what she was trying to tell me because she was speaking so quickly, so I was only able to pick up random words, notably 'Liam'. She rambled on for a couple of minutes, told me she loved me, pushed some more buttons on the number pad and then hung up.
It was the nicest phone call I've received in a very long time.
Which was kind of funny, because later Evie told me that Lily was telling me about how Liam had stuck his hand in the toilet...
I will still remember it as a great phone call.