The Phone Call
by Tom Schmidt
The month of
May in western New York had been unseasonably
cold and wet. Jack Rieger, a young rising
manager at Altex Corporation, had
contracted bronchitis from the weather but
refused to take any time off to recover from the
viral lung infection. He hadnt become
the fastest rising manager of Altex by taking
time off for the sniffles. He
would fight his way through the illness.
morning, Rieger coughed and wheezed as he
continually tried to clear his lungs. Not
wanting to make anyone else ill, Rieger stayed
within his private office and communicated by
phone and email. That is how the entire
fiasco about the phone call developed.
to get product moving to the southwest portion of
the U.S. and that meant pushing his distribution
manager Ellen McMurphy to schedule extra trucking
for the weekend. Rieger tapped his fingers
nervously while waiting for McMurphy to answer
answering, Rieger was overcome with a coughing
spell which he successfully suppressed.
McMurphy continued to asked whos
there? while dead air was on the phone. Finally,
inaudible) Hi. (cough, cough, wheeze
followed by labored breathing) Its me.
The reply took almost all of Riegers energy
and left him winded.
know its you. This isnt funny.
Jack. I am a grandmother of two and a
married woman as well. Yes, my husband is a creep
but that is no reason for you to think you
have justification to make an obscene call to me.
And doing it at work to boot!!
need (more labored breathing)
pervert!! I am going to report you to HR.
Seriously Jack. This is no joke.
need (cough, wheezing and labored breathing)
remembering then that Rieger had been sick for
the entire week simply responded back Oh,