I dislike talking on the phone for very long at a time. The exceptions to the rule are folks I rarely get to see or talk to; then it’s not just idle chitchat, but catching up. Don’t get me wrong, I used to enjoy phone conversation, but then I worked as a trainer and supervisor three years full-time in a major call center and the novelty wore off. Fast.
What’s worse than a long phone call is one in which the other party is distracted, be it by a task at hand or a show on TV. A little while ago, my mom called me, and she was cooking dinner while talking to me. There were kitchenesque noises in the background: pots and pans, sizzling, running tapwater, the usual.
I could tell she was distracted and asked her to call me back later, after she was done. Just then, the line went dead. It wasn’t like she hung up — we were in mid-conversation — it just cut out.
I tried calling back. The first time, the line it rang, but then picked up and was dialing a number. When I called a second and third time, it was busy. I figured she’d call me back and left it at that.
Shortly thereafter, a call came in showing up as being Brinks Home Security. Knowing mom and dad were both home, I assumed it was a telemarketer and clicked the “take message” button on my Callstation pop-up window. They didn’t leave a message.
Ten minutes or so later, mom called back. She said, “well, you know how I was cooking dinner? When I put the olive oil in the pan, it really smoked and it set off the smoke detector.” Through this, she learned that their security system cuts off the current phone call and dials the fire station to report a fire.
Brinks could not call her because the phone line was tied up by the emergency call transmission. So, Brinks called me. And, like I said, I didn’t answer. So, Brinks dispatched the fire department! My folks live right down the street from the department, so they were there in a flash, before mom could even call out and report it was a false alarm.
So…After a good chuckle, we had to agree that Brinks sure does their job well. Next time I’ll answer when they call, too. This isn’t my first run-in with a security company, after all. I should know better! 😉