I was lying around the house on a lazy Sunday morning smoking some kickass Sativa and being picked on (for no good reason, I’m sure) by Karen, the Domestic Despot. She was complaining because all I was doing was getting stoned and travelling to golf with my buddies, scattered across the country.
I kept telling her she was able to retire, too, but she has a different mindset.
Really old school.
So I just took this big hit and on comes Family Matters. Karen thought this to be the dumbest show EVER, so it instantly became my favorite. On this particular Sunday morning, the rerun of the show came on and as Karen entered the room, I sang along, word-for-word, with the theme song.
She was heating up.
Somewhere in the episode Steve Urkel gets a peck on the cheek from the unrequited love of his life, Laura Winslow. As she kisses his cheek, I along with the canned audience, start oooohing and awwwwing and THAT was the breaking point.
“OUT! Go do something, ANYTHING, but you need to volunteer, get a hobby, or SOMETHING,” she said.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the newspaper classified ad.
Now I have owned and operated restaurants, worked as a stock dealer on Wall Street, and ran my own version of Wal-Mart as a six-year old; a budding retail empire truncated by Mom, who beat my ass for selling her plates and other nice things to our neighbors. I might have even pulled it off had she not been served lunch at her friend’s house with her mother’s wedding service.
So, I am out of training, eager to go, and I am told to assist a young lady, three decades my junior, on student phone calls.
Right in my wheelhouse.
I ask my trainer, “what do you want me to do?”
“Whatever,” were my detailed instructions.
She was too busy doing her nails.
I was looking forward to the phone calls.
Once you have cold-called hundreds of numbers selling investment vehicles, you are fearless on the phone.
So, we are sitting at her cubicle when the phone rings to life.
I looked at her, and although I was only there to watch and learn, I winked at the girl and I said, “I got this,” meaning she would be continued getting paid bank for watching me make and take calls.
She was OK with that.
“How can I help you?”
As luck would have it, I get to speak to the world’s most pissed-off person. Before I could get another word out, I had to listen patiently as I heard about every indiscretion she ever suffered; in-school or out. She ended her diatribe by saying, “I have been transferred five different times today, and I have been hung up on four times. This is unacceptable. I want to speak with a manager. Now!” she barked.
I got this.
“Ma’am I am 100% with you. No wonder you are upset. I certainly would be, too. I want to assure you that your frustration ends with me. I will make sure you are taken care of with our world-class customer service even if I have to call the president of the company myself.”
Then I reached for my notepad and accidentally hung up on her……