Friday, August 15, 2008

Three Phone Calls

I got home from my class at three o'clock yesterday afternoon, a stack of unmarked essays waiting for me to grade. But first I decided to place a few phone calls. I didn't call the hydro company to cancel our account or the Visa hotline to change my address; I didn't return the calls from the flooring store asking if we're satisfied with our hardwood installation (we're not); but I did make the following three calls:

Shelley at the Small Town Early Years Centre
My experience of calling day-care centres in the city has been that they courteously take all your information, and then one of three things happens:

(1) you never hear from them again
(2) you get a call a year later asking if you still want to be on the waiting list
(3) you are offered a full-time spot in mid-October when what you needed (and eventually found in home-care) was a part-time spot beginning in September.

Small Town, though, is a very different kind of place. Pie's spot has been reserved for her since I first called last spring. I pay only for the four days a week that I need, and I don't need to pay anything to hold the spot. She'll be in what they refer to as "the pink room" (a factor I've emphasized with her in conversation), along with three teachers and 23 other three-year-olds. It seems astonishing to me that she will spend her days in that kind of an environment after the laid-back pace of her home-care this year, but when I mention that to my mother or her current caregiver, their responses have been identical and immediate: "She'll be fine." And she will. She exudes a sense of capability. At the photographer's, she can hold any pose; at the Little Gym she can try her hand at any trick. She has even called an official cessation of hostilities between herself and the rest of the human race: the children at day-care whom she used to allude to dismissively as "the babies" are now rapturously identified as "my girls." She's ready for anything the Small Town Early Years Centre wants to send her way.

Bub's schedule is a bit more complicated. He'll go to a Best Start program (a kind of complement to kindergarten) in the mornings, kindergarten in the afternoons, and, as I confirmed yesterday, after-school programming on Mondays and Wednesdays. That means three separate care settings, an irregular schedule, and a new house, all within the next three weeks. Fun! Don't you wish you were Bub? Or me?

Jeff, The Guy Who Will Finish our Roughed-In Phone and Cable Outlets For a Mere $500
On Tuesday.

This I established after a long and confusing conversation about wiring for high-speed internet, given that we don't have dual access phone lines (or something). This dilemma was resolved when I recalled that since we have a WIRELESS router, we don't actually need any wires to be installed.

Laurence, The Guy Who Will Measure Our Windows For a Mere $50
Laurence was busy with an installation, so he asked me to call him back in the evening, when he would have his appointment book handy. This I blithely agreed to do, forgetting that the mental and emotional energy required for the placing of phone calls is something I can muster only until about 5 pm. By 8:30, when the kids were in bed, the task of introducing myself to a stranger, explaining to him what I needed, and writing down the appointment on the calendar seemed too overwhelming to contemplate. So instead I wrote up the exam for my course, graded two essays and recorded the marks, and went to bed.


cinnamon gurl said...

Good for you. The important part about phone calls is to pace yourself. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Or so I am finding.

Karen said...

been trying to achieve this level of functioning today - unsuccessfully.

painted maypole said...

well, 2 successes out of three isn't bad!

I managed to call and schedule grooming for the cat, but "all lines were busy" for the theatre reservation, and I just don't have it in me to try to call the cable company today to try to get a new DVR AND lower rates.

flutter said...

Good on you, girl

Kyla said...

Phone calls. Monday I made about 6 of them. I find them a little exhausted, just because I spend the entire call anticipating the children's impending interruptions.

Cyndi said...

Oh, I hate making phone calls. It always seems like it should be an easy task until it comes time to do it and then it is just too overwhelming.

shannon said...

I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one who finds making phone calls draining. And I have had to make more than my fair share in the past month - we just moved to the USA. The stress of moving seems to go on for months as it takes that long to establish your accounts and appointments and every blessed place needs your new address and phone number and you find yourself talking to secretary after secretary, many of whom are not very nice. Or don't call you back like they say they will (as in your example above). I feel your pain!

the dragonfly said...

Just reading that made me tired.

I hate phone call days. For some reason calling strangers stresses me out.


wheelsonthebus said...

You know, I have EXACTLY the same problem making calls these days.

Veronica @Toddled Dredge said...

My sister hates phone errands so much that occasionally she suggests hiring me to do it for her. Cause I would.

kittenpie said...

I totally sympathize with all the transitions coming together, seeing as the next three weeks involve me finishing work, us finishing the house reno, Misterpie moving to a new school and us setting up his new classroom, Pumpkinpie starting kindergarten, and us having a new baby! Upheaval? Yeah, I hear you on the stress factor.

Heidi said...

"my girls"--that is sweet awesomeness on Pie's part. She has her own little posse now. Very cute!

Anonymous said...

Check, check and check. Good for you for nailing three tough phone calls.

One thing I never do when waiting for my "prey" is "hold". I hang up immediately and tell whoever answers that the call was cut off. Tip from a busy caller.

(Your) Anon

Beck said...

I have to phone and schedule FOUR different medical appointments today. Oh, that'll be FUN. So I emphathize deeply with you.

Pie will have fun. Pink room and lots of other little girls? GOod times.

Robbin said...


I am glad that your experience with contacting daycares is about the same as mine. Because I was starting to think I smelled funny or something (even over the phone).

Janet said...

Whoever said Change is Good, didn't have to make all of the accompanying phone calls. But I'm sure everyone will adjust beautifully, in the end.

bren j. said...

I hate making those kinds of phone calls. Emails, paperwork, I can do, but phone calls? Blech!