telephongWhere do old telephones go to die? At Cubeland, it is on this table, much longer than what you can see in the pic.

During our recent Cubeland renovation, we all got new phones. Now, there are some groups at my work who are tethered to their phones. Those are the top dollar customer service/support people. I don’t mean the kind of random folk you get when you try to call Comcast because your cable is out (and some of those are good, make no mistake). These are the folks who walk bank personnel through all manner of complicated situations. They have been doing this for longer than the *nine* years I’ve been working there, they know what they’re doing, and they earn their pay.

Me? I almost never use my work phone. Louie-Louiii-ii-ii is the only person from work who has ever called me on my phone, at least for business reasons. Occasionally, I get calls from The Queen Bee or FZ or whoever if they notice that Brooooooosie had been haaannnnnggging around my cube for an inordinate amount of time. This is a tactic to make him leave and we all do this kind of thing for each other. Make no mistake, Broooooosie doesn’t do that because he has a crush on me (believe me, that would be *really* weird). He does that to anyone who is nice enough to him to let him get a word in edgewise and then he talks f-o-r-e-v-e-r. He is a sweet guy but he is one of *those* kinds of characters that every workplace worth working at employs. For a long time, we would all get calls from people trying to call the court system. I guess our phone numbers are similar. W1.5 in particular seemed to attract people that didn’t believe that he wasn’t the court and he is polite enough that he often had trouble getting off the line. As I do with my iPhone, I stopped answering my work phone a long time ago unless I knew the name or number or the number met certain other requirements. Read on if you aren’t totally bored by now.

Louie-Louiii-ii-ii never calls me any more because now that we are in the same neighborhood, all he has to do to get my attention is yell down the row. I have received exactly *one* call on my new phone. I did not know the number but it had a 414 area code and that is Milwaukee and that is where our original Mother Ship was located. That ship sailed to Crazy Old Florida a while back but Milwaukee is still a major presence and I thought, “I should probably answer this.” It was indeed someone from the company but I have absolutely no clue who. They asked me if I was in Milwaukee. I said no, I was in Ann Arbor. They asked me if I could connect them to “someone” in Milwaukee. Uh, okay. KW’s brain goes into This Does Not Compute Mode:

1) *You* called *me*. Do you not know who you are calling or where they are?

2) I *rarely* talk to anyone in Milwaukee and I only know a couple people that work over there and when I *do* talk to them, it is by email or instant messenger. This was not one of the people I know.

3) *You* are in Milwaukee. Can you not walk down the row and get someone’s phone number so you can connect *yourself* to somebody in Milwaukee.

4) I have no clue about how to connect anybody to anybody via this new phone that I have never used and hope I never have to use again.

Number 4 is what I told her. In a very friendly manner. Jeebus.

Oh yeah, I may have overstated my “love” for my Indian colleagues. What I am enjoying about this is that I love explaining the various bits and pieces of our huuuuuge, sprawling application to people, even especially when they are asking about a part of it that I don’t know well and have to do a bit of research myself. I love trying to think through how to explain this stuff to someone for whom English is not their first language (although my friend is quite fluent at English, at least in writing). I have yet to talk on the phone with anyone in India and probably won’t have to (knock on wood). We’re doing it all via email and I/M. Therefore I have the luxury of being able to digest his well-written *SCREENSHOT ILLUSTRATED* questions and get back to him with what I hope is a well-researched, comprehensive answer. With screenshots.

G’night. KW.

3 Responses to “Telephong”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I hate answering my phone at work, but I have to because it’s usually to get a student out of class. Awkward and rushed conversations. Blah.

  2. jane Says:

    yesterday at work my phone rang and the screen said ‘Washington’. I figured it was Obama with a policy related question. no, it was my sister from Washington STATE. my disappointment was palpable.
    but there is work to be done re: powder post beetles, and now we’re heading down the professional route.

    and your photo also reminds me of the last days at Borders Corporate. Where to many hundreds of phones go when the company goes out of business? there was a whole row of gaylords filled with phones. kind of wish I had taken a picture, but… maybe not. it was a visual that captured a slice of the actual humanity of the moment. and I don’t need photo evidence to preserve that.

  3. jane Says:

    *that ‘to’ should have been ‘do’. 😉