Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

Jimmy from Shreveport

I am working for xxxx now, too. xxxx is a retread subsidiary of xxxx Tires. The area I work in takes emergency calls from truckers or dispatchers, then finds a tech within a reasonable mileage and sends them to get them rolling again. Our call center is a new dept. in xxxx, and the eyes of the corporation are upon us, so future unknown. It’s exciting right now.

So, Friday evening last I get one of my first calls that I take from start to completion. It’s a trucker broken down East of Shreveport. I find a tech 20 minutes from him, and I call. The tech’s name is Emory. Emory is a nice guy. He accepts the call and gives me a 1 and 1/2 hour ETA to this trucker on the side of the road.

And that’s that.

Until 1 hour later, I field my 2nd call.

It doesn’t occur to me while on the phone with the trucker that his location, a few miles west of Shreveport, might field the same search results from the database for techs as my previous call. Keep in mind, we are fielding calls for all of AR, LA, TX, and MS. So what are the odds?

I tell the trucker I’ll get right back with him, hang up, find the repair shop in Shreveport, pull up the list and there is Emory at the top of the list to call. I laugh, but go ahead and calling him up. “Well, I’m not quite to the first place you sent me, so it would be about 2 and 1/2 hours ETA.” I thank him but decline, knowing the driver wouldn’t like that.

I call tech #2 on the list. Jimmy.

“Hi, Jimmy, this is Justin with xxxx, are you available to take a repair call 4 miles West of Shreveport?”

Jimmy responds, “Uhmm… well, I’m not really on call this weekend, Emory is. Did you try Emory?”

“Yea, Jimmy, I sure did, in fact we already have Emory out on another call on 164 East of the city, so he’s at least 2 hours out.”

“Ohhh, I see. Well, uh, you see… here’s the thing: I been drinkin. I mean, I wudn’t suppose to work this weekend, so…”

I laugh, “Heh, no problem, Jimmy, you just enjoy your weekend and we’ll find another tech. Just be careful, ok?”

“Ok, well, if you really need me, I…”

“No, Jimmy, but thank you, bud. Have a great weekend.” I hang up.

It turns out that no other tech is available and Emory takes both calls. I think all is settled, and the time to go home is getting near. It is about 2 hours since I spoke with Jimmy, when the phone rings and one of my co-workers starts laughing. He whispers “JUSTIN, COME HERE, THIS HAS GOT TO BE YOUR DRUNK GUY FROM EARLIER. TAKE THIS.”

I step over to his desk and take the phone from him. “This is Justin, can I…”

“Hey Justin, this is Jimmy. I uhm wanted to let you know that after you called earlier I quit drinkin and stuff, so I’m not drinkin nomore.”

“OH Jimmy, man, you didn’t have to do that, I knew you weren’t on call, and we just got Emory to take it and the driver just had to deal with it. You just relax on your weekend off.”

“Well, see, I only had 2 beers. But, then I had 2 more.”

I have my hand over the mouthpiece starting to laugh while my co-worker laughs, too.

Jimmy continues: “So anyway, I drank a case. And then daddy come by and said ‘lets go to the bar’ so we went and he bought me some beers.”

I sit in my co-worker’s chair to hold my stomach.

“Jimmy, you uh… just be careful bud. Get home and stay outta trouble, you hear?”

“Oh, I’m drivin home right now. Almost there.”

Now it hurts.

He continues: “Yea, imma get home and take a hot bath and eat me some ice cream. I need some ice cream. Definately a bath.”

“Jimmy, you please be careful, and..”

“OH, I don’t drink when I’m on call. I’ll be on call next week, so if you need me… I don’t drink when I’m on call.”

“Ok, Jimmy, no problem bud, just get home and get that ice cream. And bath. I gotta get back to my phone now. You have a safe weekend and I bet we’ll talk again soon.”

And we will.