Friday, September 9, 2016

The Call


There are few things as good for your mood as finally sending in the last payment on your student loans. It had been a millstone around my neck for the past two decades, and I'd finally managed to clear myself of the last of the obligations. No more random calls by people who wanted to try and extract some pound of flesh for a debt I owed.

That's why I picked up the phone without hesitation, what did I have to fear from it anymore. "Can I help you?"

"Yes, sir. We'd like to know if we can have some of your time." The voice sounded young, and I remembered when I'd had to sit in a call center for a year as I tried to get my first job with my degree. It hadn't been fun, having random people screaming at you and trying to kill you through the phone. I must have lost myself in that thought, because I heard the voice on the line breaking my reverie, "Sir? Are you still there?"

I laughed and fidgeted, all gestures the person on the other end of the line couldn't see. I coughed as I collected myself, "Yeah, I'm still here. Sorry, just remembering when I had a job like yours. Phone sales suck at the best of times. I can give you a few-" Even as I was saying the words, I heard the step-down sounds of the call disconnecting. I figured it happens, though I thought call centers had better connections.

As I was writing it off as just one of those things, I was pulling my phone up, double-checking my messages. I'd pushed back a response to evening plans to get the last check mailed. But there was something wrong with the phone. Because there was no way that it could be midnight.

Just a few minutes of your time...