One of the things I love most about working on a drawbridge is that usually you have peace and quiet. You plan your day, and for the most part all your ducks remain in an orderly little row. This appeals to my Capricornian sense of organization and my general disdain for hubbub.
Last week, on the other hand, was hellish.
No sooner had I walked in the door when the phone rang. It was someone who barely spoke English, and he was asking for Sebastian. “There’s no one here by that name,” I said politely. He hung up. Five minutes later, a girl called for Sebastian. Same story. Then another guy. I was starting to get irritated.
Finally, after about the 15th call, I got someone who spoke sufficient English to tell me that Sebastian was the director of a tennis club, and that this was the number posted on the contact page of his website. After a quick search on Google, I discovered that sure enough, there was our number in all its glory, amongst the tennis graphics.
Oh, and did I mention there was a tennis tournament coming up? No? Well, there was a tennis tournament coming up, and apparently this required a great deal of communication of the telephonic type.
After about the 30th call, I was finally able to track down their real number, and it turned out that they had gotten one digit wrong on the website. I called them and explained the situation, and they didn’t seem particularly worried about it. They said their computer guy would fix it, but he wouldn’t be back in for a few days.
Seriously? “You guys are missing out on a lot of business,” I said.
By day two and the 50th call, I had come up with a strategy. If the person on the other end of the line spoke English I’d explain the situation, give him or her the correct number, and beg that person to point out that the website needs fixing. I was hoping that if they got even half as pestered as I had, they’d be moved to act.
It took three days. Three days in which I was reminded why I never want an office job again. Three days in which I had more human contact at work than I’d had in the past decade. Three days in which I was sorely tempted to pull out my hair by the handfuls.
Now if I even see so much as a tennis ball I’ll be tempted to take a Xanax.