Monday, January 22, 2007

Sorry, Wrong Number

The non-profit I work for is associated with that large teaching hospital on the hill, meaning that we share the same telephone network and have the same prefix as the hospital and all its offices. My office concentrates on organ donation awareness and education. We are also in the process of changing our organization's name, which is a bit confusing. Some folks call thinking that we are the ones who handle the organs themselves. Some think we're a kind of special clinic for people awaiting organ transplant. That, coupled with the shared phone system, results in our office fielding a lot of wrong numbers.

For instance, I always know when a Spanish-speaking individual calls and wants to add a "D" code to their driver's license because I'll overhear our receptionist yell, "El numero de DEE EMM VEE: DOS NUEVE NUEVE NUEVE NUEVE NUEVE NUEVE!" She speaks at a normal tone the rest of the time, but apparently suffers from the widespread condition of "If they can't understand me, I'll just speak louder, and they will."

Today, my phone rang and I barely had a moment to utter a greeting when a gravelly-voiced man announced that he wanted to make a follow-up appointment for some procedure that sounded ghastly and painful. I sheepishly explained that he had the wrong number and tried to transfer him back to the main line, but I'm positive I disconnected him. It makes me long for the days when you had to call the operator to dial out.

Did anyone else see that mediocre Cate Blanchett vehicle Charlotte Gray, about a Scottish woman who joins the French resistance after meeting a dishy RAF pilot? Completely disappointing, despite the good cast (our dear Cate, Billy Crudup, Michael Gambon, and the lovely and underrated Helen McCrory), but I loved the telephone operator in the provincial French town where The Divine Miss Cate was sent to spy. She answered every call in a sing-song and linked them with an only slightly cloying "Connecting youuuuuuu!" Perhaps the hospital should hire her.

Operator! The Clinic of Ghastly and Painful Procedures? Connecting you!

1 comment:

Ariel said...

I did see that movie. And it was at once mediocre and painful.

But the scenery was nice!