Just moments ago, an older gentleman called the box office. This is an almost exact transcript of our conversation:
Me: Circle Theatre Box Office, this is Dave.
Caller: Hi, is this the Circle theatre?Me: Yes.Caller: Okay. Do you get matching funds from AT&T?
Me: Excuse me?
Caller: If I make a donation to you do you qualify for matching funds from AT&T? You’re a non-profit, right?
Me: Yes, we area non-profit. I’m not familiar with the AT&T matching funds set up and the person who could answer your question is not in the office right now. I can transfer you to her voice mail so you can leave her a message and she’ll call you back.
Caller: What’s her number so I can call her later?
Me: It’s 632--
Caller: Hold on, let me get something to write it down on.
[pause while he gets paper and I ponder why he would have asked for a number without having a way to write it down]
Caller: Alright. What’s the number?
Caller [matter of factly]: 632-8557.
Me [gently correcting him]: No, 632-2997.
Me [clued in to the fact that this man is hard of hearing]: No, 2. And then 9, as in the number after 8.
Me: No, no. 632 . . .
Me: No. 632. Then another 2.
Me: Yes. Nine. Nine
Me: No, 632-2 Nine, as in 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
Me: No. Nine. En. Eye. En. Ee. Nine.
Caller: Eff Eye Vee Ee? 8758?
Me: No it’s—Let me put you on hold for a second, I’ll see if I can get better reception.
[places call on hold, makes gesture of frustration to non-existent gods. Takes off headset, picks up handset.]
Me: Can you hear me any better now?Caller: Hold on one second.
Me: Can you hear me any better now?
Caller: So it’s 632-8597?
Me: No, no it’s 632
Caller: 632? We can agree on that?
Me: Yes. And then another two.
Me: No, six three two two [taking deliberate care to pronounce both twos exactly the same.]
Me: Yes! And then the number nine.
Me: No, nine. The number after eight?
Me: No, nine.
Caller: Oh, nine!
Me: Yes! And then another nine.
Me: No, another nine. Just like the number I just gave you. Between 8 and 10.
Caller: Nine. Is that right?
Me [almost too excited to speak]: Yes! And then seven.
Caller: Seven. Okay, good. And who will I be talking to there?
Me: Her name is Joni.
Caller [as if it were an entirely reasonable name]: Gorby? Like ‘Gee Oh Are Bee Why?’
Me: No, Joni. Jay Oh En Eye.
Caller: ‘Cause I’m wondering if you qualify for the AT&T matching donation thing and I think you do, but you’ve got some kind of number that I’ll need—
Me: Joni will be able to give that to you.
Caller: Well real good. Thanks.