The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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I Guess I Haven’t Heard It All

on January 3, 2013

I’m a secretary so part of the joy of a new year for me  is the changing of the paper in the office. By December my files are stuffed so full that I can barely shove one more piece of paper in them.  I thoroughly enjoy arriving on January 2nd every year to begin clearing out the “current files” storing the “old files” and generally getting rid of junk.  Besides that I really enjoy my paper shredder. Until the bin gets full and I have to dump it and make a mess that I have to clean up. At least its a colorful confetti mess.  The entire process usually takes a day or two, depending on how many interruptions (read: “phone calls”)  there are.  While humming along in my “out with the old in with the new: mode the past two days I’ve gotten a few of my favorite phone calls in all of the twelve years I have worked here.  I thought I’d taken all the funny church phone calls anyone could take.  I was wrong.

Yesterday I interrupted the rhythm of my shredding to answer a phone call from a very energetic telemarketer.  I know these people are just trying to earn a living but I’m not a huge fan of telemarketers. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate their willingness to work.  It’s that if I want to buy something I will call you.   You can imagine my pleasure, then, when  that one was disturbing my “Enron Secretary” impersonation.  I answered to discover an eager young man selling advertising space in the local movie theater.  Not on the walls, mind you.  They were selling 30 to 60 second spots that would run before movies start.  All movies shown at the theater.  No matter the rating or content.  As I assured the young man that the church he had called was probably not interested in doing that,  in the back of my head the thought, ‘Oh yeah and could you be sure that you run our ad right before you start  Paranormal Activity 5?? I’m sure people will be looking for a church after that movie…..’  Have to say that I never thought of a church advertising before movies.  Wonder if that would drive attendance up?  I’m going to guess ‘no’.   (Maybe if we played movies during church….  But I digress.)

A little later in the day I answered a call from a woman, who has never been to our church, inquiring as to whether or not our church helps people pay their utility bills.  This is not an uncommon call.  I take many of these calls every week. All the churches in our town do.  That is why the local churches have gotten together and created an interdenominational office to handle all those requests.  Through that office  they can track who they help, how often, etc.  It keeps people from making the “church loop” as we used to call it.  As I started to inform the woman that she would need to either call that office or one of the other agencies in town which are set up for assistance she interrupted me.  “I’ve called all those places but they won’t pay my cable bill.”  Okay.   Cable bill? That was new.  I replied, “Well ma’am that isn’t probably going to be a bill that would be considered necessary to live so you may have trouble finding any agency with that kind of assistance.”  “Not necessary?” She shouted at me. “It’s winter.  What the *%$& else are my kids supposed to do??” Slamming phone in my ear.  Muttering, “Um…..go to the library?” I hung up my receiver.

Today as I continued to sort, file and shred I received what was perhaps the most unusual call I have ever taken in this office.  It was from the youth pastor’s neighbor who sounded like she was perhaps 104.  Okay.  74.  She was calling to see if he was out of town. (The dark house must have clued her in.) I informed her that, yes, the family was out of town.  “Well I live across the street and someone has tied a dog to their front door.”  “A dog?” I asked.  “Yes.” she said. “It’s just been driving me crazy to see that poor dog tied to the house and no one is home.”  Again the voice in my head: ‘So you called me because??? Oh – I know. You lost animal control’s number?’  Out loud I said. “Are you sure it is their house?” and said their house number.  “Well I think so.” she replied.  Thinking quickly I said, “Well I’ll tell you what.  Their landlords happen to attend our church so I will call them and have them drive by and check.”  “Oh. Thank you!”  She replied. “I just didn’t know what to do.  I hate being nosy but it is so cold outside for that poor dog.”  Oh yeah.  She hates being nosy.  Obviously.   I hung up the phone and, laughing, called the landlords.

As I returned to Fawn Hall mode to finish off my beginning of the year organization I kept thinking of that call. I’m hoping they let me know if there was actually a dog tied to that door. I’m dying of curiosity now. I have to say after all these years of dealing with colorful church people this may have been the funniest thing that has happened yet.   Of course the year is still pretty young and obviously I haven’t heard it all yet.

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14 responses to “I Guess I Haven’t Heard It All

  1. Oh dear lord….the cable bill! And I hate being nosy too but I’m dying to know about that dog!!! Fill me in if you find out!! LOL!!

  2. If those are just some of the calls you took today, I can’t imagine what a sum-total of the calls are like! The lady requesting to have her cable paid was the best. Can’t blame her for trying is suppose!

  3. Was there a dog? I’m dying to know. I love that you were doing an “ENRON” impression! lol.

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