I woke this morning to my phone ringing, at 6:15 am. This is not typical.
It's typical to be woken up at 6:15 am if my youngest is home, and it isn't out of the ordinary to be woken up by text sometime in the 6 am hour by an ex-husband or older daughter, but a rining phone? Random.
I knew it wasn't any of my nuclear peeps, because they all have a specific ring tone. So, no family emergency. I opted to doze, as my phone was all the way across the room and my bed was too warm and comforting to exit.
Of course, when I reawoke at 7 am, I immediately checked my phone. It wasn't one of my contacts and not a number I recognized. I tapped the message and listened to Dale say, "Hi Beth" and then proceed to tell me about how he and Heidi were looking through the Macy's insert in the paper this morning and saw a set of flatware for $36-odd dollars and a toaster oven for $19.99. Heidi then cut in from the background to remind Dale about the mattress. Oh, yes, the mattresses are on sale! Go online and check it out!
Okay, am I going crazy? Or do I not know Heidi and Dale? I had just left a message for a Dale at an insurance company, but surely this wasn't him. And Heidi? No, no I don't really know any Heidi's. Plus, of course, I'm not in the market for flatware, toaster ovens, or mattresses. But didn't he say my name?
I relistened, and Dale actually said, "Hi Bev," not "Hi Beth," but it really was hard to tell the difference. Random.
We get lots of wrong numbers at my office, so I actually have a lot of random phone calls and conversations. I find that it's those people who I call back to tell that they've reached our number in error who are the most likely to engage me in random conversation. I don't know if they feel obliged to talk because I've gone to the trouble to call them back or what, but it not unusual for me to chat for a few minutes. One guy last week said to me, "It sure was nice hearing your voice this morning," as we were hanging up. Aw. That's cool, isn't it? Random. But cool.
Conversely, there are the times that I get a random call and I'm not all sugar and spice; I'm a tab bit irritated. I get behind at work, and those miscellaneous random calls can be a time suck. But you know what, it's always better if I just go with them. I admit to sometimes rolling my eyes when the random person reaches out to me -- this other random person on the other end of his or her phone -- for help, but reach out they do. I'm not sure of the number of times that I've Googled some business or organization that the caller is in search of, and in the process get pulled into their reality, their story. But really, how easy is that? I'm sitting in front of two big monitors, with at least two web browsers open, so wtf, I usually do end up asking, "What are you looking for?"
"Oh, mattresses and flatware? I've got your Macy's weekly online circular right here."