So the other day at work sucked balls. Pardon my crude mouth, but that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. It was just one of those wonderfully horrible days when not only do you start the morning knowing you have a massive amount of work to do, but also the universe decides to have some fun and throws at you a few really “super” surprises that add to the awesomeness of the day. For me that meant our phones going down.

I would go into the details of just how awful our phone service is, but I’ll tuck that gem of a story away for a rainy day. Suffice it to say, it blows. Hard. And I’m the lucky gal who gets to deal with it.

Perhaps because it’s a chronic problem with which our office has been dealing for a few years now, or just because there’s a history of heart disease in my family – either way, I feel like I’m about to have a heart attack every time I hear the most dreaded sound in my universe – that of the busy tone. When I hear that coming from someone’s office, the palpitations begin and a layer of perspiration suddenly is covering my entire body. Here we go again. Everyone at work tries to be really nice about it – to my face – but I feel the frustration. The annoyance. That “What in the hell is the matter with the phones now?” vibe.

So away I go making the appropriate calls (via cell phone) to get the lines back up. It’s kind of like when you order Chinese take-out. Half the time, you put down the receiver not totally convinced that either you or the guy on the other end of the line have really understood each other. You hope to get the beef chop suey, but you may just end up with moo shu pork instead. In other words, major communication issues, especially since I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about when I spout something like, “Yeah, the PRI is down again,” and then I’m told, “Well, the problem seems to stem from the MPOE.” Umm… Okay…

Fast-forward eight hours. Our business day is now over, the phones still aren’t up, but finally a technician arrives to check out the situation. Well, what do you know? It’s Kali! I totally know this dude. He’s been to our office before to fix the same damn problem. For some reason, perhaps because he saved the day the last time, I have this weird fondness for him. It’s oddly comforting to see him walking over to me; I really want to hug him.

Two more hours go by and – hells yeah! – the phones are now tentatively up and running. However, Kali needs to stay for just a bit longer while they test the lines one last time. Meanwhile, he and I have absolutely nothing to do at ten o’clock at night except chat. And guess what? Kali is a pretty awesome guy. He begins to tell me about the trip he and his wife just took to China. Turns out they went to Antarctica the year before. And the year before that it was a Southeast Asian tour of Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. He then reveals that he actually visited these same places thirty years earlier while in the military and how interesting it is for him to go back so many years later to see how everything has changed – or not changed at all. He gushes about how happy it makes him to see his wife experiencing those countries for the first time and how fun it is to share in it with her. He tells me how much he just loves to travel, to experience something so unlike his own life and to meet different people from around the world.

Kali and I end up talking for well over an hour, and for having had a colossally awful day, this completely resuscitates it. Despite the last twelve hours of hell, I walk away from my office that night feeling good. Yeah, it sucked to have the phones go down in the first place, but then I never would have had the chance to hear some really amazing tales and get to know a pretty cool person…

But I swear – if those phones go down just one more time, I’m going postal on someone.

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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2 Responses to “There You Are, Mr. Silver Lining”

Very amusing question

December 15th, 2009

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

December 26th, 2009