This story is going to make me look like a real idiot, but that's never stopped me from doing anything before. I like it, though, because it makes me laugh whenever I remember it.
My working relationship is more than a little interesting because my co-workers and I deal with an outside company. The other day one of the guys asked us to set up a conference call with him. Oh wonderful, a conference call. My favorite.
At the appointed time, I flipped on the speaker phone and dialed his number. There he was, in living train-tunnel sound with the three of us huddled around the black box. You know how you always talk louder when you're using the speaker phone? Well, that was us, speaking in decibels that shouldn't be used in offices.
So there we were, blah blah blah blah blah. Yak yak yak. For 15 minutes straight, we did the talking. We're women. We have a lot to say. At some point, my phone rang. I ignored it because I was on this very important conference call and I thought the call was on the other line. I left it for voicemail because that's what voicemail is for, no? The ringing stopped and my co-worker's phone began to ring. She ignored it. For ten minutes longer, we talked.
I suddenly became aware that Sam (name changed to protect the intelligent) hadn't said anything in quite awhile. I asked, "What do you think, Sam?"
There was no Sam. From estimates derived by pseudomathematical calculations, there hadn't been a Sam around for at least 15 minutes. Furthermore, Sam had made the calls we ignored. When we finally called him, he told us he'd given up trying to reach us. I wouldn't want to get back in touch with us either, after that. But it gets better.
Sam was supposed to come for a meeting in a few days, but he told us he may not be able to make it. He asked who he should call if he's not able to be there. The conversation went something like this:
Sam: I may not be able to make it to the meeting. Who should I let know?
Paula: You can call my cellphone.
Sam: Who's phone is this?
Sam: I should call Susan's?
Jane: No...it's Susan's phone that I thought you were asking... (Paula interrupts Jane, mid-
sentence. Jane thinks Sam was asking whose phone he's currently speaking on.)
Paula: Susan? Would you like Sam to call you?
Sam: So I'm supposed to call Susan?
Paula: Susan, give Sam your cellphone number.
Sam: What's your number, Susan?
Paula: Go ahead, give him your number.
Susan (that's me): NO! Paula, you give him your number.
Paula: But you said you wanted him to call you. (I did?)
Susan: It's okay. Just give him your number.
Paula: Okay. It's...
Higher education in its finest hour.