It's all fairly quiet here at the moment - we're off to CORNWALL at the weekend and then when I get back I've got two days of WORK TRIPS, so I'm beavering away here trying to get a) WORK and b) PhD stuff done before I go, which doesn't leave much room for ROCK THRILLZ.
In all of this gainful employment though there have been a couple of moments of UNUSUAL ACTIVITY, mostly due to a young woman known to me as Daisy From Dubai. She first rang me a couple of days ago - or, rather, she rang one of the people who used to have my phone number. There seem to have been at least three such people over the past few years, and whenever someone rings for them I say that they're not here anymore and suggest that perhaps they could try emailing them.
Normally this is fine, but not for Daisy, who insisted that I try to contact them myself. I explained, again, that I just had their old phone number and didn't actually know them. At this point she OPENLY LAUGHED at me. "You don't know your own (Person's Job Title)?!?" she scoffed, as if this was the single most ludicrous thing she had ever heard. I did not think this was very polite, but I laboured on, explaining that it is a Quite Big University with six sites, so I didn't actually know everybody who works here, but from that point on she treated me like a poor ignorant fool, asking very slowly if I could find out where the other person was and put her through to them.
I looked said person up on our internal directory and gave Daisy that number. It took several more minutes to persuade her that I couldn't take a message, what with not knowing said person or working in the same office, but eventually I got her off the phone. That, I thought, was that.
Five minutes later she rang back - it turns out that I'd given her MY number again, as it's still listed as that person's number on our systems. I felt a bit daft for giving it out, but I don't actually USE my own number and, hang on a minute, shouldn't Daisy have realised she was ringing the same number again? Either way, it took AGES to persuade Daisy that I *was* the same person, and I'd given her the same number again by mistake. To be honest, I don't think she believed me - I guess she thought I was a PA who didn't want her to speak to my boss? I suggested again that she could email, but Daisy had already done that and wasn't happy that she hadn't had a reply yet, so demanded that I do so instead. I thus took her number (which is how I know she was in Dubai) and email address and promised to forward it to the person in question. That, I thought, was that.
An hour or so later Daisy rang back AGANE, this time irate that the person had not contacted her yet, and wanting me go round and talk to her. It was here that she told me she'd spoken to somebody ELSE the day before who claimed that they HAD known the person in question and promised to pass on the details to her. This meant two things: firstly, that somebody had answered my phone for me and Daisy the situation before I'd even got involved and secondly that this was thus the THIRD time she had re-rung a number that she had been told was not the right one!
At this point I was getting a bit annoyed, but I maintained my professional COOL and explained, AGANE, that there really wasn't much I could do. However, ten minutes into this conversation (Daisy really didn't like taking 'no' for an answer), a LIGHT shone through the clouds - an email arrived from the very person we were discussing, with her mobile phone number in it! I passed this on to Daisy - who did not seem very grateful, and seemed to want ME to ring it for her - but it did at least bring the conversation to an end. That, I thought, was that.
The next day the phone rang. 'Will it be Daisy?' I thought, and LO! it WAS!! She'd left a message on the person's answering machine but had not yet had a reply, so for some INSANE reason had decided to ring ME to try and get ME to do something about it! I couldn't believe it! I explained YET AGAIN - VERY politely - that I did not know the person, did not work with or for them, and could not be expected to be in personal touch with all of the several thousand people who work here, and Daisy DID NOT LIKE IT. "I must say this is very unprofessional," she said.
THAT was it. "What I think is unprofessional is ringing somebody who has told you several times that they do not know this person," I said. I could hear the GASTING of FLABBER all the way over in the UAE. There were ACTUAL GASPS of DISBELIEF, which felt SOMEWHAT unfair as she had been rude to me FOUR TIMES already. It was actually quite comical, like an elderly Dame in a black and white film being confronted with a used condom in her cream tea. I began to feel a bit sorry for her, so suggested, firmly but fairly, that she wait AT LEAST A COUPLE OF HOURS to see if the person DID get back to her, and then maybe ring again ON THE CORRECT NUMBER.
I put the phone down. That, I thought, was that, and so far, it has been. The person she was trying to get hold of has since been round to say sorry for all the hassle, but I said it was fine as it had actually been quite jolly, especially towards the end. I don't know if Daisy ever DID get in touch with her, but I do know that she hasn't rung me again since.