Sunday, May 10, 2009

An Odd Mother's Day Story

Yesterday evening, as L and I prepared to go out to eat with some old friends, I picked up my phone to find a rather long message queued up for me. So as we walked out the door, I was listening to the charming message. The message was from what sounded to be an older lady. She was waxing poetic about the beautiful roses she had received and how they were so beautiful that she wished she still had the energy to plant and grow an acre of roses. The message went on talking about how wonderful the roses were, how brilliant their colors, and how they were the perfect gift, etc. It was clear that someone had gifted this lady with a gift dear to her heart that she treasured and deeply appreciated. Finally, about eight minutes into the message, the caller started to wind down and mentioned that she knew Shauna had to work and that she hoped to talk to family later.

Now I had a quandry. Clearly the lovely lady who had left this charming and gracious message on my phone had dialed the wrong number. She had either missed or ignored the intro message stating that it was I that her phone had connected to. Normally I do not call and tell people that they have not reached the number they must have been expecting. So should I use the caller ID and call back to tell the lady that her message was lovely, but had not reached her intended destination? Or ...

A bit of back story first. The reason that I generally do not call and tell people that they have reached the wrong number is two fold:
  1. My answer message clearly states that you have reached the number of <my name> and that if you so desire, you can leave a message for <my name>. Thus you have to be a bit of a doofus to leave the message for someone else on my phone.
  2. My number is one digit off from the now defunct pig sale barn. For years I was plagued with 2-10 calls a day from people trying to reach the pig sale barn. The people that called to inquire as to the late day Chicago price of fat backs and other such arcana were amidst the rudest I have ever conversed with. I was accused of everything from lying to stealing the pig barn's phone when I would answer or return a call via caller ID to let them know that the barn wasn't going to know they were planning on bringing a truckload to the Thursday sale unless they actually called the pig barn. 
Thus my policy of not calling people to tell them the bad news that they called my answering machine rather than whom they desired.

In the end I did the only thing I could and have a clear conscious. I called the number and had a very pleasant conversation with the author of the original message. After her initial denial turned to acceptance when I delivered a brief synopsis of the message, we had a very pleasant conversation. It turned out she was trying to reach her daughter in Arizona (whose cell phone was indeed one off from mine) to thank her for the beautiful gift. When she was younger, she had always grown a large plot of roses on the homestead and missed them deeply now that she couldn't do it anymore. Her daughter knew that and so sent her the gift that meant the most to her - roses.

So here is hoping the happy mother re-called the thoughful daughter and this time they connected. It makes my heart happier to think of that ending. In any case, I did my part.

1 comment:

  1. You did the right thing. hat off to you. It is a warm hearted post.


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