Wednesday, April 09, 2008

When the phoneman rings twice

Isn't this just typical? When the boss comes home, the phones go out? We've had phone problems over the last few days that I find personally amusing. You might say, "Hmmm. church chick. .... Could this humorous perspective come from the fact that the phones ring steady most days in/ days out? Could your lightheartedness be floating on the wings of not wanting to answer? Another. Darn. Call.???????????????? Or is it simply your sick sense of comedy at work? "

The answer is - no comment.

The phoneline nervous breakdown presented with symptoms of neurotic ringing. The phone would ring once; the receptionist, or me or my neighbor would pick up to hear- absolutely nothing- not even heavy breathing. nada. just silence. This happened alot. Then not at all. Then alot. Then some. Then, a few and then none. Eventually, a pattern evolved. We figured out if we let the phone ring twice, then it was probably a real person calling in, and not someone trying to call from the grave, and we began waiting for the second ring to pick up.

Our tech guy called the phone company and they sent someone out. The guy they sent was a kind hearted fellow,though he reeked of smoke. We spoke often, as he investigated the awry phone saga, but every time he left my office, I quick quick opened my window to release the stale smoke. Once, he left and did a quick turnaround. I was busy pushing open the window and trying to find a clean breath of air when I heard him yell out, " Don't Jump, Miss. Please Don't jump!!" I pulled myself back inside the office and turned around. " I was just opening the window, man. Just getting some fresh air."
He stood at the door, looking relieved. " You know, I WILL fix this problem. It's just going to take a while."
"I have every faith in your ability, truly I do" I answered as supportively as I could.
So he went back to work.
Hours passed

The phones finally succumbed to panic and started to scream-ring at veryloud volume. Having no phone-anti-depressants or anti- anxiety meds on hand, I tried my best to comfort my desk phone by talking it down. " It's just issues, my friend. We all have them. Humans, birds, phones, copy machines. Let it go. You'll be better soon." The lights that had been blinking erratically all afternoon stopped completely. The phone went dead. Not knowing phone cpr, i removed the receiver from the cradle and gently laid it on my desktop.

Later that afternoon, I was at the front desk and I noticed the phone guy standing at the desk barely able to hold himself up. His eyebrows were dripping sweat and his eyes had gone dull.

"What is it, Mister Phone man? What?" NOW, who's looking low, I thought to myself. A quick scan of the area brought a nearby window into my sight and i moved my position so as I became a barrier between him and it.

" The part they sent was faulty. and now I can't get the old part to Not work like it has been Not working, so you basically have phones out of control. I don't usually work on this kind of system and I'm really worried that I can't get it right. I've ordered a new part, and it will be in tomorrow."

"Listen, buddy. Go home. You've done all you can here. I know you have given it your all."

--------------The next morning arrives.
I come in to work. The phones are singing loud and staggered. But something is different. I walk down the hall and notice that whenever a call comes in, ALL phones ring. Typically only my and the desk phone ring in outside calls, the rest wait to have calls transferred to them. I sit at my desk and pick up a call and realize quickly that the ability to transfer has stopped functioning. The phones are now losing bodily functions. Transfers cause disconnections. OH, man. This is going to be a grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttttday, I can tell.

I hear a voice coming from down the hall. "Church Chick, something is wrong. I'm getting all the incoming calls. and I can't seem to transfer." I walked down to the staff person's office and delivered the news of reality. "Bottom line is, we're ALL the receptionists today until the phones get fixed."

A little while later, my boss is in. The phone rings. and rings. I go in and say, "Just say, Church, can I help you?" He said amidst the continuing ring, " No, my red light is blinking, it is for me" I watched him pick up and just say hello. Then a peculiar look came over him."No, we don't need another credit card, thanks." He hung up.
"The phones are not working, are they?" he asked.
" Right"
About that time, the youth directors came bounding down the stairs. '

" WEll, I guess WE'RE the receptionists today! The calls are ringing in our offices."
I said, " Well, the phones are ringing in EVERYONE's offices. and the transfer doesn't work."
"Oh." said one
"Oh." said the other.
"I got a call and transferred it and then they called right back"said one.
" Me, too!"
I added, " That's because you cut them off"
"So what do we do?"
" I'm thinking we take messages and deliver them; sort of like the pony express , only with phone messages. "
"Oh, okay." and they traipsed back up the stairs.
The preacher answered the phone today. The associate answered. I did. The maintenance man did. The steeple repair guy answered. The mailman answered. It was a full team effort.
Man, talk about wearing somebody else's shoes. That is what happened today.

1 comment:

"imagine the darkness in love with the light." said...

wow what a time. the phones at my house are down. as in the phone no ring. the phones themselves are fine. but why no and i mean no one has called in the past three days is a mystery and we have tried calling the house. they just don't ring so phoneman is coming out tomorow sometime between eight and eight.