Monday, November 5, 2007

The Phone Call

You will find quite a few posts littered around the Noodle House which are based on what happens in my workplace. Be it the commute to and from office or the stuff I do as part of my job, it has been a fertile field which has yielded ideas on a regular basis to feed my demanding and consistently skewed thought process and this post is yet another manifestation of the same phenomenon (Yawn!!).

I placed a call to a client this morning because that is more or less what I do at work on a Monday morning. I call on my clients. So there I was, checking my mails, cell phone glued to my ear, waiting to hear the voice of a lady. As the phone at the other end was ringing, I was mentally running down the list of things I had to talk about and giving a once over to the order in which I had to bring them up. I realized that my list was all business with no politeness anywhere to be found. So I hurriedly penciled in a little politeness that I could think of - "Good Morning. This is Vishnu from the-firm-that-I-work-for. I wanted to talk to you about things-I-wanted-to-talk-about. Is it a good time to talk?" This addition to my list happened in what turned out to be the final seconds before the phone was answered at the other end and it was show time.

The 'Click' of the phone being answered at the other end was my cue to start and the pro that I am at this, I didn’t wait for a second prompt. I rattled off my opening lines in a cheerful but professional tone. Well, actually I hoped it sounded at least like a distant relative of a professional tone. Anyway, I made a good job of the opening and was waiting for something like, "Good Morning Vishnu. I am on the way to office now. Can you call back in half an hour?" or some variation of the same.

Instead, what I got was a silence. I guess this was one of those silences that are declared pregnant because I thought I heard a baby crying in the background. This was not in the script and I wasn't sure I was equipped to handle such situations. As I was contemplating my apparent inadequacy in handling such situations, said situation deteriorated further when finally a gruff and definitely male "Hallo" came across the phone line. Even as I was gathering my scattered wits around me to say something sensible I could hear the "Hallo" being repeated a couple of times with an octave increase differentiating between the three. Octave increase is never a good sign and before it went up any further I managed to find my voice and said, "Sorry. Is this 77554?" That got an immediate response - "HALLO" - which seemed like the full extent of the gruff voice's vocabulary. It took me a couple of minutes and my skills as a linguist to elicit an answer which did not sound like h-a-l-l-o stringed together.

Turned out, that I had dialed 77555 instead of the 77554. Thankful to have got that much information from the one-word-wonder, I immediately hung up. My bad. I should have realized that I could have asked him to pass the phone to the person before him and saved myself from making another call.

2 comments:

The Red Stone by Craig Smith said...

Haha... a good story. I hate dialing the wrong number!

me said...

Thank you. :)