Thursday, September 01, 2005

Phonetic Trials never ending

It’s almost been a year now. A whole year since I’ve been playing Church Chick at the OK Corral. The instances of my true self slipping through my guise of admin asst are fewer and less often. Usually, its when I’ve had an almost full breath of confidence that something pops up, like today.

If you’ve read my chronicles from the start then you know of my dilemma and angst-ridden experiences with our phone system. Learning curve is pretty big. HUGE, larger than large.
Today I was talking to the financial secretary and we realized that tomorrow I will be here alone. I decided to call one of the other staffers to see if she was coming in and I used the intercom. I pressed her extension button on my phone and spoke. No answer.
“ Hey, I know you are up there, are you working tomorrow?”
no answer.
“ Don’t ignore me, I know you can hear me, now come on. Answer…..”
no answer but-
The Senior Pastor’s door flew open and he literally slid down the hall and caught himself on the doorframe to my office. He spoke to me.
“ I just thought you’d like to know that you aren’t talking to Annie, you are talking to me.”
He smiled and slid away, closing his door with a jingle.

Horrified, I called my oldest daughter. There’s comfort in sharing your horrification with a family member who can be horrified with you. Usually it works the other way around, daughter seeking out Mother, but since I’ve entered the grown up work world, the split is pretty evenly divided. “Mom! I can’t believe you did that! Was he mad?”
Was he mad? I thought to myself.. ruminated… considered…. Processed…pasteurized.. and then a happy thought came to my awareness. I shared it with my concerned daughter.

“Oh! You know what? He had a funny smile on his face, well, he had an unusual expression on his face when he slid over and I bet he was thinking, … "This kind of phonetic frenzy hasn’t happened in a while. Maybe that’s progress….”

My daughter sat in silence, then I heard her breathe again. “ Well, usually it works the other way around, mom. I mean like You notice things running smoothly, and comment on THAT. Instead of putting out a fire and realizing you are using fewer extinguishers than you used to. But if that works for you, I’ll be happy for you, and congratulate your improvements.” “Come to think of it, I haven’t heard you mention as many intercom-calamities of late. Gosh, I think that IS improvement.”

We hung up and I walked out into the hallway, just in time to see the Pastor’s door open. Two lovely young people came out, arm in arm. The young couple walked cautiously, their eyes shifting slightly from side to side. “Hi!” I offered as they passed by. I noticed a short pause in their stride which I took later to mean they recognized my voice as being the one who was screaming at them through the Pastor’s phone speaker just minutes earlier.

They scootched a little closer and walked in tandem out the front door of the church never looking back.
I turned to go back into my office .The kind and forgiving Pastor stood at my door holding thumbs up and smiling. He is such a supportive boss. It amazes me. After the positive reinforcement, he squeezed his eyes together in pursed lip silent prayer. He then tilted his head and said to the chilled hallway air, “ They MIGHT still join . Yeah. They might.”

Improvement takes many forms, I guess. I hope they don’t take my phone privileges away. I can do even better, I’m sure of it.

Church Chick


Leslee said...

LOL! Oh you poor poor dear! Phone troubles are NO fun. Our phone guy comes out to fix our phones regularly and in the process breaks something else.... i HATE phones!

HeyJules said...

I'm great on the's returning email to the correct person that always gets me in trouble! Oh well, it reminds us we all have work to do - whether in God's eyes or in our bosses!