Take a Number (Or, Please, please, please call me back)
Do you ever have something really important to tell someone, or you need help with something big, but it seems like NO ONE is answering their phone?
So you just sit there, needing to talk to someone, and wait. Wait. Wait.
I think I go through this every other day I am at work, if not every day. You’re really excited about some super-cool story that you know people are going to listen to and share with their friends and your grandparents will put it in their scrapbook they made for your college career … but you need sound to go with your story.
And that sound comes from people, when they’re in the studio or on the phone, but no one is calling you back.
Or emailing. Or texting. Or faxing. Or writing a letter.
You really have to track them down, too. You go through every online thing they’ve ever been on, looking for phone numbers, emails or those little message box things that I absolutely can’t stand. When you put in that much work to get a hold of someone, it seems like they could at least pick up the phone. But, you sit and wait.
Stan calls it “The Waiting Game” (and it’s much less fun than watching the Bonanza episode of the same name).
One day, I was calling all of the schools in the area to find out how they would contact us if they had to close due to weather. I never really appreciated how much work went into that little line at the bottom of the TV that told you if your school was closed or not. Except I lived in Atlanta, so if there was even a rumor about snow, they shut down the state.
Anyway, the point is, you probably get one call back for every dozen you make. But when they do call you back, it’s a rush to review your notes, grab your coffee and land yourself in the studio before they hang up.
Unless they call you back three minutes into your break.
I’ve heard that the best way to get someone to call you back is to leave the office.
So, I’ve counted. Three different times I had waited and nagged for hours about a call back from some poor source, then I leave the office, walk to the cafe, get in line to finally eat a bagel … and my phone rings.
Then, it turns into a game of “How fast can I get back to the office?” Because, usually, the conversation goes:
“Yes, is this Charlotte?”
“Hi! I’m (name) with (name), you left me a call earlier and I can talk for ten minutes. Right now.”
And that’s great that they call back, it very literally makes my job possible. And it’s not like they know exactly when I’m leaving (although I do have my suspicions). It’s just one of those things where things will happen at the most inconvenient times.
So, when they call back, it makes me very happy and I get to write something interesting. Then, you get excited about another story and you want to talk to everyone you can about it so it starts all over. But that’s okay, because it’s been worth it so far. The sound makes the story most of the time. I could wait for hours to write a good story.
But, when I get back to my dorm and I call my friends, if they don’t answer on the first ring, I scream.