Those who know me are familiar with my disdain for the telephone. It’s a device I can’t stand because of how it disrupts our lives.
So I was thinking about why I dislike phones so much and then I remembered this job I had one summer while in college. I worked for a company that sold life insurance policies and burial insurance for seniors. I was a data entry rat who typed records into a very old computer. Sometimes, with supervisor approval, I could print stuff too. Man, those were exiting times.
I became so proficient at typing and printing that I was promoted to the resolution division. Here my job was to call life insurance policy holders whenever issues arose with their account. I learned very quickly that many calls were a bit awkward. I’d make the call, someone would answer and I’d ask to speak with the policy holder. Long pause………..
Finally the person would say, “I’m sorry but he died last month”.
I don’t know how many time this happened but at least a couple times a week. I never knew how to respond. I’d offer my condolences, but I always felt terrible. Sometimes I’d call the spouse of the person who had passed away, and it would set off a stream of painful emotions. When that happened, I’d leave my cubicle and head down to the exercise room and jump on the Stair Master to gather myself.
I was in the best shape of my life that summer.