Thursday, March 02, 2006

My 200th Post & My First Guest Blogger

I have never had a guest blogger before. My dear friend, Tamar is going to be posting today. I'm just happy she went out of her way and set some time aside to do this. She even wrote this when she wasn't feeling well. Thank you Tamar!
Hi, Deb's blog audience. It's me, her friend Tamar, the sick one who Deb's trying to pimp off. A couple of side notes before I get into the 'meat' of the matter-Deb and I have been friends for about 8 years or so, and she really is an amazing find. She's Italian and I'm Jewish. There's about a dozen years between us, but something about both of our parents coming from Brooklyn must be the solvent in our special friendship. Kind of a deeper understanding for the human condition with an eye and appreciation for the absurdity of it all.
Now I don't follow her blog daily (like any true narcisist, I in fact rarely follow unless advised that I've been referenced!)-no, I think I'm rebelling, coming from a family of writers- I'm just not a huge reader- but the few times I've peeked into her world, I'm so touched by the connection she's made with the readers- and inspired. And also proud ofher for doing her thing in this big way that benefits so many other people and helps her own self-expression. And it's great that she is being so real, yes, she really is this funny in person.
But one element of her personality (and she has many, our littlewater-barer!) that I didn't witness on the blog was:


Deb the Prankster. This is actually one of my all time favorites, cause this one wakes me up in the midst of a miserable, this-is-your-life-at-the-office kind of days and reminds me that 'oh yeah, this job is kind of hysterical.' Just peel a few layers off of this customer's nasally demanding voice questioning why his taxes on the non-regulated services have increased this month by 2 cents from last month, and you too will find a rip-roaring good time! Oh, did I mention that I work in a call center? That's how we met years ago. Deb had the wits to get out before the job robbed her of what remained- I wasn't as lucky.
So Deb, having worked here a few years, had a few good tools under her belt to pull off some authentic prank calls as a potential customer. She'd drag other people into the call too, whoever was handy. There was the time she was the old southern lady from Alabama on the farm who needed her ringer fixed. She set up roosters doodling in the background somehow. One of her favorite tricks was to study the phone book and find last names that sounded dirty, and then innocently call in and have me repeat them- keep in mind, all of our calls are monitored, so I have to keep a straight, professional tone at all times...
Deb: "Hello, miss Tamar, can you check the spelling of my name, I believe you have it wrong."
Me: "Sure, I'm showing K-U-N-T-Z."
Deb: "Yes, that's right, but can you say it please?" (at this point, I have to hit my mute button, because apparently I haven't matured beyond the 7th grade, and this sends me into hysterics)
Deb: "Oh dear, are you there? I think we've been disconnected", she turns to tell some imaginary husband OK, so after a few months of this, I was really ready, Deb wasn't going to get the better of me again, I could take it! And she was overdue with a good prank. I had been begging her to prank me at work for months. Poor thing, she must have been in a little funk.
Well one boring Tuesday afternoon, I got the call. I give my embarrassing corporate greeting and get this raspy-voiced middle-aged sounding woman who gives me her account number. A business account comes up on my computer screen, "Little Sisters of the Assumption". A church.
I knew already this was Deb.
The rasp continued:
Deb: "I may need to speak with a supervisor."
Me: "OK Ma'am.. May I have your name please?"
Deb: "Suzy."
Me: "I'm sorry, Suzy, I don't have your name on this account. We have a Dorothy listed there. Is Dorothy with you?"
I hear some arguing in the background, sounds like she's trying to coerse someone into being Dorothy. After a long pause, a very high-pitched falsetto voice, which I recognize to be our friend Heather, comes on the line.
Heather: "This is Dorothy."
Me: "Hi, Dorothy. Do you give your permission for me to discuss your account with Suzy?" (Of course, she does...)
(I'm starting to get confused!)
Deb: "OK, here's the problem. We are suppossed to have a non-published number. Your company published our number! You've exposed the little sisters! We don't want people ASSUMING things about us! I need a supervisor immediately!"
I paused a minute. What would my supervisor say to this woman? What would Deb say to the supervisor? She was putting me in quite a pickle! I let my Sagittarian logic kick in.
Me: "OK, let me see what happened here, and why your number was changed to published. OK. I'm showing that we have had your number published for the last 30 years. So you've just noticed this problem today?"
(You can't lose when you put the ball back in their court, works everytime)
Poor Deb was so faklempt (Yiddishe for befuddled) she was forced to resign from the call, hanging up, hysterical laughter muffled.

I could just make out her parting words: "I'm losing my touch"... Deb, you could never lose your touch! You're brilliant and full of life and mischief... I love my little sister of the assumption.. he he.. What does that really mean anyway? I have no clue.