I don’t always answer my cell phone when I am at work. Most of my clothes lack pockets, so it sits on my desk. If I’m away from my desk I may not know it rang until hours later. Sometimes I am right there, in my cubicle in a strip of cubicles, but if the call is from a number I don’t recognize, I may or may not answer it depending upon what is going on around me. Half the time it is some service provider wanting to sign me up for something I don't really want (or don't want to have to pay for).
At 2:20 this afternoon, a call rang in from an unfamiliar number. I stared at my cell for a second, thought “Oh, why not?” and answered it. The caller identified himself as being with the county sheriff’s department. Only once have I been contacted by a sheriff’s department, and it scared the crap out of my sometimes paranoid self. That time, many years ago at about 11:00 at night, the caller said they had found my cat, which was odd because I didn’t have a cat, but an ex in a town 45 minutes away did. The call came after an unfortunate relationship with a guy who decided to exhibit his adoration by serving as my personal stalker, and I was frozen that night with the fear that my stalker had tracked me down in my new town.
On today’s call, the first thing racing through my mind was that someone had been injured or was in some kind of trouble. After that, I tried to think of illegal behavior on my part (not even a u-turn!), my car was right outside the office, and I was pretty sure Moose was safe, having never demonstrated the skill to unlock the deadbolt and walk out the door. As my blood suddenly turned to slush I wondered, “Oh, dear Lord, what has happened?” All this mental activity took place in about a nanosecond.
It was a job reference request for a friend. Mr. Law Enforcement asked me a few general questions. Far too few if you ask me. How long I had known my friend? (Many years!) Did I know of any reason why he shouldn’t get the job? (Um, what job? Don’t even know what he applied for.) Did I know of any drinking, drug or gambling habits. (No way, this dude is squeaky clean.) The entire call took one minute and one second according to my phone’s call record. That does not seem like much time to get a thorough job reference, but hey, I don’t work in Human Resources. Maybe it was just a formality. And it was one minute and one second more than some companies invest in reference checks.
Now, in his defense, my friend told me a week ago that he had listed me as a reference. In it’s entirety, the text message read, ”fyi I put u dw as a ref. K”. I asked for more info, as I like to be prepared. None came.
After my chat with the law, I had to have a little fun with it. I texted my friend: “Thanks for the heart attack with call from the sheriff. Was expecting a message of doom. Relieved it was reference call, but geez…”
Him: “Lol, sorry. I owe u, unless u said bad thgs abt me.”
I didn’t even see that one, because I was already busy with: “mostly they cared about your drug, gambling and drinking, so I told them we met in AA, ran a meth lab together and illegal poker and dog fights. You are so in!”
Him: “Lol, u suc, kisses.”
I love my friends. They love me, too. I hope. And I hope he gets the job.