Before going through all the physical and mental energy of the Peace Corps application process (chasing down transcripts from two universities plus scores from AP tests I took 11 years ago isn’t my idea of fun) I wanted some guidance. Would my old depression diagnosis put me on some kind of blacklist?
Years working in the business world has taught me that calling any business right at opening hours (8:00 my time) on a Monday morning is a bad idea. Sometimes the phone is still going to voicemail. People are making coffee or picking up mail or asking the person in the next cubicle how the weekend was. You only call that early when you WANT to leave a voicemail.
So I waited until 9:45 my time – which is still before lunch on the east coast, right? Called. Asked the switchboard to transfer me to the medical office. The extension didn’t even ring, just went straight to voicemail. (Really? At 11:45?) At least that voicemail message had an e-mail address and said, “All questions or issues can be addressed through e-mail.”
E-mail’s my preferred method anyway – too hard to try to catch someone on the phone. Plus then you have a documented record. So I e-mailed. And got a message back 20 minutes later saying, “Please call us at this extension.” So much for everything being able to be done through e-mail.
So I called a second time and asked to be transferred to the provided extension. I got those three familiar screeching tones and the phone lady saying “we’re sorry, this number is not in service”. Seriously, phone lady, do you need to screech so loud? We get the point.
Third phone call. Asked the switchboard (I think the operator for call#1) to transfer me again. I figured the first guy had hit the wrong button – something I’ve been known to do on rare occasions. Screechy noise again.
Fourth call. Got operator #2 and said I think the number is bad. He checked the extension himself and confirmed that it wasn’t working. So he transferred me to the main office. The medical office transferred me to a voicemail. After listening to a long message the system told me the mailbox was full. I huffed through my nose before hanging up and calling agin.
Fifth call. Operator #1. Transferred to medical office. Told them the mailbox was full. Transferred me to someone else. Long voicemail message, then the beep. Yay! Left a message with phone numbers. Grr. That means they’ll be calling me when I’m trying to work. And my cell phone battery is almost dead. Phone tag will ensure.
Five phone calls and an e-mail, and I have yet to actually ask my question. Maybe this is some kind of test? Because I know that in the darkest times of my depressed states I would have had a hard time handling this. Instead the healthy / post-depressed / more-type-B Alissa shrugged and walked back inside to the e-mail triage for which she gets paid.
Funny sidenote: while making these calls I was standing outside. I looked down in a window well and saw a huge patch of clover. I spent all of the time on the phone scanning, wondering if I could find one with four leaves. I could sure use a bit o’ luck.