Currently, I answer phones at a very nice financial institution. It’s an efficient, yet unpretentious place, where everyone is basically kind and well-intentioned. Likewise, most of the clients we deal with are lovely and easy to deal with. I get a lot of please and thank you on the phone. This call was different….
Me: Good afternoon, [blah blah blah], how may I help you?
Oh, my God! What number did I just call? What company is this?, asked a voice reminiscent of a high-pitched Harvey Firestein.
Me: This is [blah, blah, blah] sir. We are a [generic financial institution].
High-Pitched Harvey: Oh no, I thought I called a jazz-aerobics studio. If I promise to pay you lots of money, can you train my wife? You can lock her in a closet, run her up and down stairs, do whatever you want to her.
Me: For lots of money, I would be happy to, sir. Lame laughter. Attempts to get off the phone.
HPH: I want to get her aerobics classes for her birthday. Do you think that’s a good gift?
Me: I would love that as a present. I think it’s great. Once again, feeling shocked that HPH has a wife, attempts to get off the phone.
HPH: We’ve been married one year. I asked her one thing, outside of pregnancy, please don’t get fat. Do you know what she did?
Me: feeling epically awkward and anxiously looking around the room for escape, She got fat?
HPH: You got it. She says she sits at her desk all day and doesn’t have time to go to the gym. She says she needs a little extra fat in case she gets sick. She says…..
The conversation deteriorates from here. I hang up with a lingering guilt that I did not stand up for this wife, who sounds like an asshat for marrying this guy. I am an asshat for not telling him to get a life or a conscience. And he is an asshat for being cruel to someone he’s married to. So in the end, we all lost a little bit of ourselves today. But I got to judge two strangers while I ate lunch at my desk, which makes it all a little more worthwhile.