Is there anybody out there?

It was the end of a long day. Most of my coworkers had gone home and the office was mostly quiet, except for my phone. My phone was ringing off the hook. It would ring, I would answer, “Hi, this is John”, and whoever it was would hang up. This was happening over and over again, and I was getting more than a little testy. I was trying to get some extra work done and I was there much later than I usually am, so I was primed to lose my temper. It rang again and I answered, “Hello, is someone there!” This time there was no click. I could hear what sounded like an office in the background. A young child’s voice said, in a confused and worried tone, “hello, is my daddy there?” “Well” I replied, “that depends on who your daddy is.” “His name is Michael”, the young voice said.

“I’m afraid there is no one here with that name.”

“O.K.” – click.

I sat there in my seat stunned. I was so quick to loose my temper. I was so quick to judge the person on the other end, before I knew who it was. I still don’t know who it was, but I can imagine.

Maybe I’m making more of this than it was. Still, I keep coming back to it this evening. Do I have to say what the lesson was? Whether it be on the phone, walking in a store, or driving on the highway, I hope next time I’ll be more patient. I hope I’ll always appreciate that there is always another person on the other end, someone that I won’t know or understand.

I hope you’ll understand my need to share this with you. Regardless, thanks for “listening.”