Your call is very important...

By Phil Crossman | Oct 13, 2016

Early in a budding romance, I called my intended to offer reassurance and encouragement at just the right moment. Since every moment in the budding stage is the right moment, I could hardly go wrong, and I didn’t. It was nervy of me, though. Her boyfriend, slow to exit, might have answered and that would have been awkward.

He did, as it happened, and it was, but he was quite gracious. He called her to the phone and removed himself. “I hope you don’t mind my calling you there,” I said. “No,” she replied, “your call is very important to me.” Such a moving acknowledgment; I remember it clearly and savor it, although, amidst the onslaught of organizations that nowadays cavalierly offer the same assurance, it’s becoming more and more difficult to remember how precious those words once sounded.

Today the irs told me the same thing 53 times in 92 minutes. Fifty-three times I was also reminded that all of their agents were busy assisting other taxpayers and that my conversation, in the unlikely event one ever took place, might be recorded to ensure quality control and for training purposes.

By the time an hour had elapsed, I was very eager indeed to provide them with a recording by which they might readily assess quality control and with which they might advance training by leaps and bounds. I was further admonished, 53 times, to remember that my call would be answered in the order in which it was received, and that I was not to hang up, because such a rash action would only result in my being bounced back to the end of the line, where my mood was not likely to improve.

And 53 times, too, I heard the first 81 seconds of Pachelbel’s "Canon" played on a MOOG synthesizer. During minutes 81 through 88, I visited the bathroom and, taking the cordless phone with me, hoped against hope that my chance would come during that interlude, when opportunities to expand on my frustration were so bountiful. It didn’t, and having memorized Pachelbel’s "Canon" and reflected on that time when my call really was important to someone, I finally gave up.

I’m sure they’ll call if they want me.

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