Five Routine Minutes: A Texting ProblemPosted: August 15, 2012
Last week, I found myself on the horns of a texting dilemma. I didn’t even know text messaging had horns.
It all started when my employer issued me a new cell phone.
Sadly, they did not arrange to transfer all my stored numbers to the new phone. I’ve remedied that gradually by storing numbers as my co-workers call me. This gradual method is the cause of my problem.
After work, I got a text message from a person who works for me. I know that much because of the way they addressed me. This person wanted me to know that they’d had a death in their family. The message told me how sad their family was at the loss and that they’d just learned of the passing of their loved one.
I felt terrible for them.
But there was a problem. All I had was the sender’s phone number. I’m sure that I must have had this person’s number in my old phone, but that phone is no more.
I sent back a very generic message of condolence, thinking their answer might clue me in to who I was texting with. The reply was not helpful.
That told me it wasn’t a wrong number, but I was no closer to figuring out who I was consoling. I thought of calling the number, but I’m so bad at identifying voices on the phone, I knew that could only lead to disaster. The person said they would be coming in to work for a few days before leaving for services for their loved one.
I returned to work. It would only be proper for me to say something encouraging to someone who suffered such a blow. I had no idea who I should be saying something encouraging to. Perhaps I should have said something generally, to everyone on the shift.
That didn’t seem like a good choice.
No one said anything. No one burst into tears. I talked to everyone on the shift when I got the chance and tossed out some general questions about how things were going for them.
Three days later, the mystery mourner stopped by my desk and spent a few minutes thanking me for my support.