December 24, 2007

Deck the Calls

1. Tuesday
In which I have the wrong job

After trying to renew a subscription for my boss for half an hour using the publication’s (super-easy! no hassle!) online renewal form, I am forced to call the customer service department because the site has tried—and failed—to process said form three separate times. I push buttons and sit on hold, listening to a scratchy version of Rudolph that makes me want to put out my eyes and wander the earth. When this has played to the end, I am connected with Joey Lauren Adams.

“Let me check that for you,” she says, in a whispery princess voice. “What’s the member number?”

I tell her. “The site keeps crashing; if I could just pay it over the phone--”

“Okay but hold on just one second, I’m pulling up your information.” I didn’t think it was possible for someone to say these words in this order and not make me want to punch them in the face, but somehow she does just that. Perhaps this is her superpower. I imagine I’m talking not to a person, but a little mouse with impossibly soft blond curls. I am put on hold.

I am still on hold.

Six minutes later, I am still on hold. I consider hanging up, but then I’d have to go through the main switchboard again, so I use the time to return emails. Suddenly, the ethereal voice returns. As she goes though the problem, it becomes more and more apparent that Joey has been using the extended hold break to roll and smoke (and very possibly grow) some grade-A doobage. She keeps her footing, mostly.

“Okay,” she hiccups adorably, “so… let me confirm the email address: Z-”

“V, as in Victor. Like you spell his last name.” I give off sarcasm like waste heat, but I really had no trace of it here.

“Oh, hee hee, so it’s just like his last name, at hotmail?” Seeing my window, I affirm this. “Oh, I get it!” I wonder what constitutes a joke when the audience is baked. Breathing and monosyllabic words seem the obvious answers.

“Okay, since you’re all paid up for this year, we can’t actually accept any new payments until January. Hold on, let me just go check one more thing,” she puts me on hold, ostensibly to check, in reality opening her mini-fridge for a Red Stripe. I’m left to wonder how many unhelpful service reps this company had to go through before they hired Tokey McTakes-a-hit (and, more importantly, if they’re still hiring). She comes back expressing that the site problems are cleared up in the reverent tones of one who has just experienced Christ.

“So it should log in now?” I affirm.

“Yeeeeeah,” she exhales. Not impatiently, with zero condescension, but with an honest happiness that she could do this all day. Maybe it’s because I’m outside this sphere of happiness that I want to ask her to recite the alphabet backwards.

“All right, then. Thanks a lot!” I say cheerfully. Clearly whatever has entered her various orifices in the last twenty minutes gas begun to affect her system, judging by the “thank yooou,” she blisses back. I hang up. I’m not even mad.

I replace the handset thinking how much funnier Cinderella would have been if all the little mice were stoners.

2. Friday
In which I see myself in the future

Me: Hey. You called me earlier?

Mom: Yes.

[pause]

Me: Wanna… tell me why?

Mom: I don’t remember now. (silence) Huh.

Me: (pause) Okay, well, I’ll be here—

Mom: I know there’s a reason… what was it?

Me: I don’t know; that kind of why I called back.

Mom: I know. Why did I call you?

Me: [realizes this is rhetorical, and wisely shuts up]

Mom: (singsong-y) Why did I call you, why did I call you…

Me: Just call me back when you remember, it’s fine.

Mom: Molly, why did I call Sarah?

Me: The dog doesn’t know, Mom.

Mom: I’m sure she does. I’m sure I told her.

Me: Call me back when she lets you in on it. Or, y’know, if you remember.

Mom: No, just wait, because I never will.

Me: Can’t have been important, then.

Mom: That’s not true at all.

Me: Well, I suppose if anyone could forget that the house was on fire...

Mom: That’s it!

Me: What?

Mom: Stop being rude to your mother. That’s what I wanted to tell you.

Me: No it wasn’t.

Mom: Yes it was. I saw you would be rude in the future and I had to put a stop to it.

Me: Uh-huh. And did you tell me what you wanted to tell me in this future where you saw I would be rude to you?

Mom: …no.

Me: How many children did I have?

Mom: (instantly) Seven.

Me: GAH! Seven!?

Mom: Maybe fourteen; I’m not sure how rude you were to me.

Me: Well, tell one of them why you called me—I have to get back to work.

Mom: Hang on, let me wander around the room a little bit, see if anything looks familiar…

Me: You’re kidding right?

Mom: (sings) Hmm hmm, dum-de-dum, now I’m in the di-ning room—

Me: Work to do, Mom.

Mom: Nothing’s looking familiar—I mean, of course it looks familiar

Me: For real, Mom? Working today.

Mom: Oh all right. I’ll call you back.

Me: Did those wedding pictures come yet?

Mom: No, I still haven’t seen them.

Me: Dammit. Okay.

Mom: OH—I remembered!

Me: What?

Mom: Did you want to go to Grama’s for Christmas Eve?

Me: Yes, I heard about that. Yes I would.

Mom: Really? I thought you’d fight me on it.

Me: No, it sounds like fun. Not staying in the hotel, though.

Mom: So move Sue over and sleep at Gram’s.

Me: I think I’ll do just that. But yeah, sounds like a good time.

Mom: Okay. I’ll let you get back to work.

Me: Mom? How did you get from wedding photos to Christmas?

Mom: Dann’s wedding, family, Grama, house, Christmas. It’s not hard, Sarah.

Me: …

Mom: Anyway, have fun—I’ll talk to you later.

Me: Okay. Love you.

Mom: HA! I remembered!

Me: I know, Mom.

3 comments:

mamaclsn said...

I so love mom. have fun at Gram's...wish I was there. Merry Christmas!

Tessannes said...

You know, I didn't actually say MOST of this!

Sarah Beedoo said...

Which is better: your memory, or my memory of your memory? Also, you're wearing two different socks.