Click here for audio: If anybody calls

If anybody calls, I’ll be out. Tell them I’ll call back when I can. I’ll do my best to fit them in but I’m busy these days. I’d like to know who would call, anyway. Shouldn’t everybody be busy? Shouldn’t everybody be not taking calls?

 

If anybody calls, take a message. Name, date, time, subject, and level of potential interest I might have in this potential exchange. It’s a lot to ask, I understand, but I’m a busy man, as you’ll appreciate, what with all this going on.

 

If anybody calls, show as much sympathy as possible if they sound flustered or stressed or – even – rude. The flustered and stressed have a three-minute window to get their shit together. The rude – well, I leave that up to you. My usual approach is based on the universal rule of reciprocity. You do what you think best. They are, after all, being rude to you.

 

If anybody calls, I will honestly consider my options. These are too many and varied to detail here and now, but in summary it will be my decision and not to be debated. It’s my time.

 

If anybody calls, I’ll be surprised but not entirely. People call for so many reasons but normally because they want to pass on responsibility for something they can’t be bothered to work out themselves. This applies across the board. The one exception to this my son. If he calls, it’s almost definitely to share something important: some story he just thought up, or a fart. Put him straight through.

 

If anybody calls, ask them what could possibly be so important now, in pandemic pandemonium, that they think talking to me will be a useful way to use their time. If they say it’s urgent, tell them to reflect on that for a moment. If they talk about the economy jobs, reply to them in terms of life and death and love and limited time in this world.

 

If anybody calls, don’t answer.