Monday, December 03, 2007


I had a missed call on my way out the door to work the other day. I operate tangentially to the rest of the world in that if I DON'T recognize the number I'm much more likely to answer the call immediately. That seems to be opposite the normal tide of human behavior.

The truth is: I harbor secret hopes that answering an unknown number will culminate in a really good surprise, and you know how much I love surprises.

I've found that when you know the number - you generally have a solid idea on whats about to happen. Sometimes its good, sometimes it ain't so good; but its typically not much of a surprise either way.

Of course then 800.555.2391 shows up on my Blackberry screen. My friends don't have 1-800 numbers, right? But you know who does? Publisher's Clearinghouse, the Georgia Lottery, Cabela's, Beretta USA, Remington, Harvard, Puff Daddy, Gregg Allmann, Dave Mathews, Chifuti Safaris, the White House, and Winchester (to name a few).

So, yes: I'm going to answer that 1-800 number and I'm going to do it fast. A tiny glimmer of hope drives me.

In this instance I answered the phone and the guy said something garbled that sounded like "work on your tap." I had been waiting on a call from the county to come work on their part of my sewer line (the county "tap") so I immediately launched into a long description of my plumbing issues culminating in my frustration over having to pull up and dispose of $4,000 in fine laminate flooring RUINED from a sewer line backup. Before I wrapped up the inning I went into my final stretch and came across the plate with a high, hard, fastball describing in detail what its like to come home and find your brand-new, recently-finished basement covered in an inch of standing water.

I paused briefly to admire the black plume of complaint swirling smokily over my head; when nervously over the phone line I heard: "I'm sorry sir this is Tim from Tech support. I was just calling to see if you got your Blackberry fixed."

Thanks Tim. Its fine.

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