Monday, January 17, 2011


Congratulations to Sunday Scribbling for the 250th prompt!

I picked up the telephone and silently cursed the Operations Secretary for taking some time off. Granted it was some much needed time off, but in our small four person office the job of filling in lands right here.

"May I help you?" I ask after identifying myself to the caller.

"I want to file a complaint!" the high pitched whiny voice began, "I am watching TV and these Victoria Secret commercials are disgusting!"

"Oh brother" I think to myself, "A crazy person!"

"Well I think you are calling the wrong place. Perhaps you should be calling the television station and voice your concerns"

"No" he/she began screaming, "I want to talk to YOU about this garbage they are showing on the television so that any person can see!"

At this point, I had no idea if this was a man or a woman. The pitch of his/her voice was becoming higher and higher as he/she truly began to get into their rage about Victoria Secret. I did not know how to address the caller, so I just blurted out, "Mam or Sir, with the way you are yelling at me I can not distinguish which one, you can change the channel you know".

This really set him/her off some more.

"I want to speak to someone at Victoria Secret! Connect me to the store right away! This is disgusting filth and we all need to stand up and revolt against this depravity that is shoved down our throats day after day! Someone has to be held accountable for this pornography being flaunted in our face day after day! It's an out range and I going tell them just how I feel about half naked woman walking around my living room!"

"Sir! sir, you must calm down, if you call the television station carrying on like this they will think you are a NUT CASE!"

"Just give me the number to Victoria Secret if you won't connect me, I'm going to tell them a thing or two".

I just took the 50-50 guess this was a man. "Sir, I will not give you the number. The people working there are just trying to earn a living. They are not trying to corrupt our society!"

"You go to hell" and they hung up.

Good Lord. Being on the other end of a telephone gives you a certain bravado and courage to be a total Loony Tune if you do not have to face, or make eye contact with the person you are trying to intimidate with harsh impactful forceful rhetoric.

But actually you are just a whiny invisible person attached to a whiny invisible voice buzzing around my ear like a pesky gnat. I wish I could slap you.

Being invisible gives people an extra dose of courage and outrage.


oldegg said...

You are so right. That space provided by the wires or whatever makes us pretty powerful on both sides.

When I am being assailed by a cold caller from the sub-continent whose English and accent is impossible to hear I plead with them "I am deaf, please speak up or clearer or whatever." Then he or she will do the dirty on me and suddenly hang up before I had finished, clearly filling his quota of calls was more important than actually making contact!

The telephone was never meant for patient people!

Donna said...

Unbelievable. I would have guessed it was a woman; what kind of man gripes about seeing half-naked women? Oh yeah, a nutcase.

Altonian said...

Oh, boy! I have taken so many calls like that. My answer was to put on my best Olivier voice, remain very calm, and gradually get louder and politely louder until I drowned out the protester.

An excellent rendition of an on going problem - for some.

I see we are the same star sign!

Lisa :-] said...

Yes, the telephone does give us the anonymity to be obnoxious... But that phenomenon has been taken to the nth degree by the internet. I cannot believe some of the things people will post simply because they can do so anonymously. It's kind of frightening, really.

Natalie Jean (Bottoms) Kelsey said...

I liked your perspective:) Well written :)