I looked at my watch, I looked at my wrist,
I punched myself in the face with my fist!
I don’t indulge in too much Hollywood cliché reporter business. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink whiskey from a bottle in my desk drawer. Okay, do I wear the occasional fedora… And sometimes I talk a little switchyard, if you know what I mean.
It’s nothing too intense, mind you, but definitely not for publication. Think of it as Jimmy Olsen doing a PG-13 Perry White. I generally do it when I get off the phone with a particularly uncooperative flack or an obfuscating CEO. It’s alright, though. Really. I know how to do it. The trick, you see, is to always wait until two beats after the receiver hits the cradle before making with the Paulie Walnuts invective.
So. This morning, I’m on the phone with an uncooperative flack. I called him regarding a press release about his company closing some factories in the U.S. and expanding operations in Europe. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary, but I’m paid to ask questions. Which gets me this, and I quote:
“Listen. The press release is very detailed. You shouldn’t read anything into it.”
Well, I just can’t help myself. By mid afternoon, I’ve read quite a lot into it, and I give him a call to check facts and figures and discuss things other people say about his company. A courtesy call at very least. I get his voicemail several times, and I keep leaving messages. Finally, at about 5:00 p.m., he answers the phone. I get this:
“Oh…Hi Rick. Hey, I’m in an interview with my boss right now. Can I call you back in two minutes?”
“Yes, I’ll be here,” I say. “I do need to check some facts and figures tonight.”
He’s all assurances.
When he hasn’t called an hour later, I decide to try him again. I get his voicemail.
Now, you can imagine that I’m feeling a bit jerked around at this point. I’m thinking he’s at Happy Hour, if such a thing exists in the city where he works (oh, yes, I’m cranky). And, thanks to him, I’m nowhere near my hour-long drive home.
Well, here’s how it went:
Voicemail: Hi, this is X. I’m not in right now, but your call is important ,…etc..
Me: …Hi, X. It’s Rick. I will be around for another few minutes, if you could get back to me tonight, that would be great. Thanks a lot. Goodbye.
I drop the receiver into its cradle. And 1 and 2 and…
Me: %$@$&^%$#^& $%#@
…And 4 and 5 and…
My speakerphone (robot voice): If you would like to continue recording, please press one.
Yes, friends. When I hung up, I accidentally hit the speakerphone button, turning my workspace into an open mic. So, my voice message is likely to include the Paulie Walnuts bit!
Well. He shouldn’t read too much into that.