When I left my office tonight I called Woodland Terrace in an attempt to get mom on the phone. It was 5:09 PM PDT, which means it was 8:09 PM EDT there. I figured that surely by this point they’d resolved whatever issues they were having with their phones and, that late at night, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find someone to help me talk to mom.
The phone rang. And rang. And rang. It rang at least twenty times before someone answered.
“Good evening. Woodland Terrace. How may I help you?”
I said, “Hi. I’m calling to talk to my mom. She’s in the West wing.”
The woman who had answered said, “Hold on; I’ll transfer you there.”
I waited for about thirty seconds — I’ve learned to time and count everything over the last eight months — and then the exact same woman said, “Good evening. Woodland Terrace. How may I help you?”
I said, “Hi! I just talked to you a minute ago and you were going to transfer me to the West wing.”
The woman, who was clearly annoyed that someone in the West wing hadn’t answered, said, “Nobody over there picked up? Hold on and I’ll try again.”
I said, “Sure,” and then I waited on hold for five minutes.
The same woman answered the phone and, very politely, explained that there was nothing she could do. She said something about how there was no way she could force them — the people in the West wing — to pick up the phone. She was, to her credit, apologetic about it. She suggested that I hang up and call back, and that this time she simply wouldn’t answer the phone, so someone in the West wing would be forced to “pick up”.
I said, “You mean you want me to call this same number again?” She said that was what she meant, so I said, “Sure. I’ll do that. Thanks.” Then I hung up and immediately called the same number again.
I let the phone ring for exactly two full minutes and then I gave up.
I tried to call the alternate number that Lisa had given me a few days ago, but nobody answered that line either.
I waited a minute and tried the “regular” number again, but it just rang and rang. I only listened to the sound of it ringing for a minute the second time, though, before disconnecting and finishing the long drive home in silence.