A conversation 2 weeks ago, prompted me to review Item # 9 in my post, 10 Assumptions About Church Ladies, (which coincidentally was posted on April 1, 2016 – But it was no joke!)

It was a normal Friday afternoon, around 1:30 and I was sitting at my cubicle of purgatory in the epicentre of a circus! Only 1 hour until home time. My preparations for Sunday were complete; both bosses were now out of the office. I was puttering away at my filing, sending last minute emails, and compiling a list of things “to do” the following week. The phone rang, so I answered it in my usual sweet & charming “secretary voice”.

“Good afternoon, ____ Church. Jenn speaking”, I chirped.

“Oh, you are in! I called an hour ago but you didn’t answer the phone”, the disapproving voice snarked.

I immediately began to feel guilty. My mind was racing…what was I doing an hour ago? I apologized and offered a couple of possibilities of my whereabouts, and went on to deal with the reason for the call.

It wasn’t until I was driving home later that I started to get angry. The more I thought about it, the more I ranted inside…and it’s time to let it out…

Dear Caller,

Contrary to popular opinion, I do not spend my days filing my nails, flipping through glossy beauty magazines, or eating bon-bons while watching re-runs of SNL online. Nor am I sitting by the phone anxiously awaiting your call!

There are a number of possible reasons why I was not available to take your call at the exact moment you decided to call me:

  • I’m on the other line (sometimes with stupid people).
  • I’m answering the front door (I have not yet mastered the ability to be in 2 places at once. When I do, you will be the first I call)!
  • I’m in the midst of a conversation with my boss, a ministry leader, a congregation member…or a complete stranger. People wander in and out of my office regularly without an appointment.
  • I’m in a meeting. Sometimes those meetings are scheduled ahead of time; sometimes, they are not.
  • I’m in the bathroom. I cannot “hold it” for 5.5 hours – sorry!
  • I’m grabbing my lunch from the fridge (so I don’t become a Food Werewolf).
  • And sometimes, in all honesty, I don’t want to talk to you.

As it turned out, you didn’t want to speak to me anyway. You wanted to speak to one of the pastors, and had you chosen his extension, you could have spoken directly to him the first time you called, instead of including me in your twisted “love triangle”.

I am a hard-working and conscientious employee with a lot to accomplish in my short work week, so if you need to speak with me and I’m not “available”, try calling again. Or even better, leave me a message!

On a side note, very rarely am I not in. I have suffered with dysentery, crawled through countless winter storms, and crossed a police line so I could be “in”. But not just so I can answer your call!

Thank you for calling. Have a nice weekend. Bye-bye!