What did our mothers do before cell phones?
I was giving a presentation in front of an audience of about 80 medical professionals on a serious “academic” topic. As always, I keep my cell phone with me – but put it on silent and check who’s calling. If it’s my babysitter or office, they know to call three times and I’ll pick it up (our morse code).
It was the school.
The school calls for so many reasons – the sniffles, a missing lunch box, or advisement about a PTA meeting. This time, however, it was at 8:30 am – just when the bus pulls into the school.
I paused and the thoughts were rambling through my head – bus accident? Fall off the bus and broke her leg? Backpack left at home?
Picked it up – on a microphone – with what I perceived to be a stunned (and insulted) audience.
School: “Your daughter came to the office saying she forgot her note for the bus for ballet”
Me: “OK, Thanks for calling me. She actually doesn’t have ballet today, she doesn’t need a note but I appreciate you getting in touch.”
And the audience – filled with pediatricians – laughed. One chimed in, “looks like you have your priorities in order”. The feelings of embarrassment, ambivalence, and anxiety during those silent buzzes led me down the right path. Mommy mode kicks in – sometimes at the times we least expect it to.
Would you have answered the phone? Can all calls wait? Have you been in that situation before?