Answering the call

Phone When my home phone rang yesterday, I had already decided I was too busy to answer, but I glanced at the Caller ID anyway (as we all do). To my surprise it showed the call was coming from ME, listing my telephone number.

I’ve heard that techno-savvy telemarketers can make it appear that their calls are originating from the number they’re calling into, but I was caught off guard for the moment and I had an odd notion: this call might actually be coming from me—from my higher self (or the voice of my conscience)! Perhaps it had a message I needed to hear, a message I had been ignoring too long.

In nanoseconds my mind raced through the possibilities. Perhaps I was going to admonish myself for being too insensitive in this blog—for my choleric blasts against toothless, unimaginative, pop music pablum (as I did here for instance) and my defense of all-things-Beatles. Or for never passing up a cheap laugh at the expense of beleaguered financial institutions (as I did here when I referred to every big Wall Street investment bank as a “special snowflake” that needed affirmation and support). Or for savaging the benign patriarchy and "Father-Knows-Best" autocracy that masquerades as "servant leadership" in too much of the business world.

Perhaps I just need to be kinder?

Anyway, I’ll never really know, because in the end I froze and didn't answer the call. Alas, no message was left, leaving me to ponder forever what I wanted to say to myself.

In retrospect, I should have just answered and said, “What do YOU want?” Or maybe, “I’m not home”—which is always at least partly true, according to my friends.

Easy for you to laugh, but would you answer a phone call from yourself?


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11 Comments

  1. Ah, if only I could call 1974 Joel and give him a heads up about this, that, and the other thing.

    Like he would have listened.

    But, maybe. I do still spend a good portion of my time talking to 2014 Joel.

    The friends I love most are those who make me stop talking to myself in order to listen to them. Now, one of them calls 1974 Joel, we've got some action.

    1. Yes, fossil that I am. I still have the same home phone number from 1987. And apparently that's the number I used when I called myself yesterday, though I don't remember doing it.

  2. 'Kinder'? No way. You need to turn the heat up on 'patriarchy'. Gender equality for women is an enormous problem in business, especially in the States. Let's see more posts on that. There are more women in rock 'n' roll than ever before, so there's your starting point.

    1. Fair enough. But I'm not sure there are more women in rock now than in the 80s or 90s—as a percentage. But for sheer numbers there's got to be more women AND men in rock now.

  3. Well at least there might be somebody intelligent to speak with John! Every week I get a call from some putz representing himself as a representative of the "police chiefs" or "uniformed officers" association looking for a handout. I had exactly this scam decades ago cold calling for a non existent charity (I apologize; I was pretty broke at that time. But then again, I also made cold calls to dentists and doctors on Long Island selling fishy short-sale "catastophe" stocks .. "hey doc, it's awful when bad t hings happen, but why not make it good for you and your family?"

    1. Cripes, now you tell me. I've been contributing to a "Policeman's Ball" every year when they call. I thought I was buying protection.

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