The Saga of Boob Lady

Years ago, after working a series of odd jobs irrelevant to my intended career, I landed a position as the office administrator at a tech company. (You get a fine arts degree in a bad economy and suddenly “future best-selling author with no conceivable chance at failure” turns into “Sir, you are screaming at me because you got overdraft fees for spending money you don’t have,” and “Michael, I am trying to teach you how to swim, please stop spitting water in my face.” An office job after this was more than welcome). Aside from the year and a half stint spent under the reign of a manager with the general temperament of a constipated hornet, I have over the last five and a half years enjoyed my job very much, though, having been promoted twice since I started, I do not miss ordering office supplies and answering inane phone calls from sales representatives trying to pitch expensive software to someone with the kind of patience that leads them to hang a sign reading “Complaints About Lunch” above their garbage can. (Seriously, guys, it’s free lunch. I don’t care if it’s turd and ghost pepper sandwiches, you’ll eat it and you’ll like it.) I would get the occasional wrong number and I once misdialed a vendor’s number and accidentally called a sex hotline (sorry, HR), but generally the phone wasn’t a large facet of my job. It remained an occasional distraction from the work I was actually employed to do.

One afternoon, I was entering invoices into our accounting system when the phone rang. The conversation went as follows:

Me: “Thank you for calling [company], how may I help you?”

Elderly-Sounding Woman: “Hi, I need to schedule a mammogram.”

Me: (slight pause) “I’m sorry, you have the wrong number. This is a tech company.”

Woman: (louder) “I need to schedule a mammogram!”

Me: “I’m sorry, you’ve called the wrong number. This is [company]. Not a hospital.”

Woman: (growing irritated) “Listen, young lady, I need to schedule a mammogram and I need you to do that for me. Now.”

Me: “Ma’am, we are a tech company. You have the wrong number. If you are interested in security consulting, then I can help you.”

Woman: (irate) “Schedule me a mammogram now or I’m going to have to speak to your manager!”

Me: (to no one in particular) “Hey, Tony, this lady needs a mammogram. Want to give it a go?” (to Woman) “Tony’s our IT guy, but he says he’s down.” 

Woman: (now shouting) “I don’t want a mammogram from Tony, I want one from a doctor!”

Me: “Well, as I have mentioned several times, we are a tech company. A computer company. There are no doctors here. We do not and have never performed mammograms.”

Woman: “What number is this?!”

Me: (recites phone number)

Woman: (long pause) “I think I have the wrong number.” (hangs up)

Me: (shakes head incredulously and throws phone in the ocean)

I always wondered if that lady ever got her mammogram. More likely, she spent the afternoon cycling through the phonebook, berating hot dog stands and Jiffy Lubes about their refusal to check out her knockers. Godspeed, Mammogram Lady. I hope you found what you were looking for. Just know, Tony was very disappointed.

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