On Call

L: Help, I’m stuck on a boring conference call! Chat with me!

Me: Um, okay.

M: What should we chat about?

{A minute goes by}

M: Hello?

{A minute goes by}

M: What’s the deal? Am I supposed to be chatting at you?

{A minute goes by}


M: I met a traveller from an antique land

M: Who said:–Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

M: Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,

M: Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown

M: And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

M: Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

M: Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,

M: The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.

M: And on the pedestal these words appear:

M: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

M: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”

M: Nothing beside remains: round the decay

M: Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

M: The lone and level sands stretch far away.

{Ten minutes go by}

L: Sorry!

L: I meant we should chat with each other, but I wound up speaking for the entire call.

M: I hope you at least managed to slip an Ozymandias reference in there.

L: I didn’t think of that. And now everyone is disconnecting.

M: Quick! Just blurt something out!

M: “Hey Janet? Of frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command? Could you come to my desk and help me with this Excel spreadsheet? Right now it’s a colossal wreck, boundless and bare.”

L: Too late, they all hung up.

L: Oh, well. Thanks for being game, anyway.

M: No problem. My officemate is currently on the phone, guiding his eight-year old son through the process of unclogging a toilet with a plunger. So it was either chat at you or listen to that.

L: It’s like primitive tech support.