|How To Lose One's Mind
Author: ImaginativeMind PM
One-shot of a telemarketer's fall from sanity. These hilarious antics will have you rolling with laughter.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Words: 1,272 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 04-21-10 - id: 2799197
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"This is just a normal nine to five," Darren assured himself, walking through the doors of TeleCall Nationally. The receptionist directed him to an elevator; after pushing button 12, he tapped his fingers, heart racing. The doors opened with a ding.
"Ah, Mr. Dunnly. Nice to have you here on time," the boss chuckled, sipping a cup of coffee. "Alright, now what you'll be doing is calling people. We're trying to recruit them to go back to college. Sell it anyway you can. I'll give you a list of numbers you have to call today."
Darren was led towards a computer desk, a head-phone set sitting there. The secretary on their floor showed Darren the workings of the phone and set him to work.
"Okay, first number. Here we go," Darren said, punching in the number. There were two rings.
"Hello?" a voice on the other end asked.
"May I speak with Phoebe Barow?" Darren asked, keeping his voice calm.
"She no live here. Why you call?" Click. It was very bad impersonation of a Chinese-American. Darren shook his head, expecting the hang ups already. After a successful call and another screaming hang up, Darren tried the first number again; his paper said that Phoebe was Caucasian, no Chinese person should have answered.
"May I speak with Phoebe Barow?"
"Hold on," the woman said. On the other end, he could hear her hollering, "Phoebe! Phoebe Barow!" Her voice became louder as she spoke again into the mouthpiece. "No, sorry sir, no Phoebe Barow at this diner." Click.
Now he knew something was up. First a Chinese woman, and now a diner? What was up? Every other call was to this confusing number.
"Third time's the charm," Darren muttered to himself, punching in the number.
"May I speak with Phoebe Barow?"
"Nah, man, you know Phoebe?"
"Not really, is she there?"
"No, but when you see her, you tell her I'm going to beat her ass. She owes me money." Click.
Darren could see the boss staring down into the room from his elevated office. If he wanted to keep this job, he'd better do damn good. He decided to try one more time.
"Megan's Car Lot, how may I help you?"
Bracing for the diner move again, Darren asked, "May I speak with Phoebe Barow?"
"I'm sorry sir, none of my employees have that name. Please try again elsewhere." Click. This was getting irritating. Every time he tried calling Phoebe Barow, at the same number, he always got something different. There had to be something wrong with the phone line.
Or maybe, just maybe, this was a test his boss was giving him. Darren settled for the latter and tried other numbers.
"Hello, may I speak with Terri Zieleger?" Darren asked, a new number.
"She's not here, may I take a message?"
"No thanks, I'll try calling tomorrow."
On the other end, another very bad Middle Eastern impression. "No you shall not." Click. I hate my job, Darren thought to himself, punching in that very first number. Something about it always drew him back. Maybe it was the fact that he just had to talk with Phoebe Barow. Maybe something deep down inside thought it was funny what the person on the other end came up with. He didn't know but heard two rings.
"Guten tag?" the woman asked roughly.
"May I speak with Phoebe Barow?"
(Answer in German. 'no Phoebe Barow lives here.') Click.
"Man, I could really use some rum right now," Darren muttered to himself.
"Vodka is so much better," one of his co-workers mentioned casually.
"Vodka? Where's vodka? Who said vodka?" Darren flew through the words.
"Dude, chill. There's a bar downstairs in the basement; you can go drink when you get off work," someone hollered.
"No, I need a drink right now!" Darren said, flying out of his chair.
"Darren Dunnly, back to your desk or you're fired," the boss hollered over the PA system. Darren froze mid-step at the elevator and sullenly turned around, putting his headset back on. Drumming his fingers on the desk, he punched in the ever changing number, ready for anything.
"Coroner's office, how may I help you?"
Darren was stumped – the county morgue? – but quickly recovered. "May I speak with Phoebe Barow?"
"Hold on," the woman sounded bored. "Sir, are you calling for the living or the deceased?"
"That name is in neither of my records."
"You said this was the county morgue? Why would Mrs. Barow be at the county morgue?" Darren mumbled.
"Sir, you said you were looking for a Mrs. Phoebe Barow, correct?"
"I'll do a more thorough search and call you back with the results."
"Okay, thank you." Darren hung up, eyebrows twitching. He almost lost it again when he looked at the clock. He'd only been there for three hours.
Trying to get his mind off of why he couldn't reach Phoebe Barow was impossible. He messed up three different numbers with Phoebe's and finally decided to try again.
"Hello?" a woman breathed heavily into the mouthpiece.
"Is a Mrs. Phoebe Barow there?"
"No-Oh, my God! No, don't, harder!! Sorry, no, she's not here, she just left," the woman moaned; what the hell was going on? It sounded like wild and violent sex. Darren quickly hung up and took a second to regain his composure. Just when he was about to punch in a new number and give up with Phoebe Barow, the phone rang.
"Hello?" he said as politely as possible.
"Mr. Dunnly? I found Mrs. Barow." It was the secretary from the morgue.
"Excellent, may I speak with her?"
"I'm sorry, that's not possible."
"She's going to be buried tomorrow." Two heartbeats and Darren was pulling his headset off and throwing it into the corner of his desk.
The boss watched Darren kick his chair back and run around the room, peeling at his suit coat. There was a crazed rabid look about him; classic signs of mind loss. When you worked in the telemarketing business, you learned to recognize the signs of the onset of craziness. Under the boss' desk was a white button marked 'Do Not Push.' However, now there was no choice. Darren Dunnly was losing his mind and scaring his co-workers. One press of the button and blue lights flashed through the room, the song They're Coming To Take Me Away by Dr. Demento began playing, a door in the back burst open and two men in red lab coats and white suits came through wearing sunglasses. One of them carried a straitjacket.
"The redcoats are coming, the redcoats are coming!" Darren screamed, running faster around the room. They easily caught Darren and forced the jacket on him, dragging him to the elevator. Once at the elevator, they shed the red coats, revealing white ones with frontal logos that said Funny Farm. On their backs was the phrase Where Life Is Beautiful All The Time. He would be taken to the mental ward of the Funny Farm hospital and cared for until he was fit for release.
"There goes another one," the boss mumbled, making a note to post a new job advertisement.
"Damn telemarketers. They are so stupid," Phoebe Barow chuckled.