Yesterday, at work, I answered a customer service call from a member named “Mary.” She requested a list of three or four electricians she could call for a renovation project.
Mary was difficult to talk with. She kept interrupting me, she kept telling me to slow down no matter how slowly I talked, and she wouldn’t listen when I tried to answer the millions of questions she shot at me.
“What’s that company’s name?” she whined to me.
“‘XYZ Company’,” I answered.
“Slow down, now. Say it again?”
“X…………….Y…………….Z……………..Com…..pan….y,” I repeated.
“And what’s their phone number?”
“1…800…555– do you have that so far?” I asked.
“No, wait a minute. I can’t write right now.”
“Ok?” (Why couldn’t she write when she had just recorded info for two other companies one minute ago?)
“Hang on,” she said.
Then I heard something. Running water? Garden hose? Shower?
“Should I continue the phone number now?” I asked a few seconds later.
“Not yet,” she replied. “I’m peeing.”
“WHAT????” I thought. I sat there, in silence, listening to her urinate for about 25,000 minutes. Maybe fewer. It was hard to judge the time. At one point, I caught myself holding my breath, as if I was in the bathroom next to her or something.
I kind of was.