I manage the technology for a small Inbound Call Center. We have thousands of toll free numbers that ring in here at any given time depending on the promotions we're running. When a particular campaign has run its course, I send the phone numbers to an unmanned extension. The calls that ring to this line are mostly wrong numbers. But from time to time, when I have nothing better to do, I'll answer the line to see what the caller is looking for. Today was one of those days.
The first call I picked up was from a woman who was trying to contact Walgreen's prescription mail service in Florida. She told me she would try the number again. When I picked up her call the second time, she hung up on me. The third time, I offered to help her. The number she called was printed on an insert she received with her last mailing. She had tried to contact them via they're website but had been unsuccessful She had been on the phone for an hour trying to track down the right department and had been transferred too many times to people who couldn't help her. I looked up the information on-line for her and found a local number in Florida. She sighed. I realized that she'd have to pay for the local call, so I put her on hold and dialed it myself. When I got back on the line with her I gave her a toll free number that would get her to the right place. She told me she was amazed that I had gone out of my way to help a little old lady in Wisconsin who had hung up on me.
The second call I picked up was another older lady in Dayton Ohio trying to reach her Healthcare Advocate to see about getting a reduced price on her anti-depression medication. She doesn't have a computer so I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with her tracking down the correct number. I learned that she married young, had two children and then divorced. If she hadn't had her kids so early she supposes she would have gone to Woodstock. She's now living in "the most boring state in the nation" but has a boyfriend who takes her to interesting places. She surmises that they'd take more trips if she could actually stand him for more than a few days at a time. She'd like to get a computer but she's not sure she has the attention span to learn it - though there are lots of things she'd like to "Google". Turns out she had just transposed a digit when she dialed the phone number and got to me. I gave her the correct number and she told me how fortunate she was to have reached me today. I really wanted talk with her more.
Each of these anonymous women did me a good deed today. Their random interaction with me filled a little cranny in my soul that has needed nourishment. There is nothing more fulfilling than helping someone get what they need whether it be information or just an ear for a moment or two on a cold and lonely winter's day.