There are a few times in my life I’ve been rudely awoken.
True confession: We tended to sleep in a bit when we were on staff, before we had kids. I’m not gonna get into the hours that we’d sleep until, but let’s just leave it at the fact that we did most of the ministry related things in the afternoon and evening.
So the day that I got a personal call from our global director of fund development at 8:25 AM was most certainly an awakening, albeit not very rude.
I rolled out of bed and did that thing where you try as hard as you can to sound really awake. I’d like to think I am good at it, but going from drooling on a pillow one second to speaking coherently the next second to someone whose mere mention strikes fear into the hearts of thousands of your coworkers is no easy thing. But if faking enthusiasm were a sport, I’d be Scottie Pippen. (Because let’s face it, Billy Mays was Michael Jordan.) I had waited for this moment like Phil Collins waited on that iconic 10-beat drum intro. It had already arrived in the air tonight.
I had emailed one of those post-pubescent-but-still-not-an-adult style emails that I could have trademarked back in the late 90s, earlier in the week–to somebody else within our organization. I was mad about something (subject matter not important, let’s just suffice it to say I was disgruntled), and was expecting to get an email in return. Instead of getting an email in return, my email was forwarded to the top of the food chain.
And instead of emailing back, the global director of fund development called me. On my unlisted home phone. It was his way of flexing administrative muscle, I suppose.
So, to recap, I am standing shirtless in my home office, trying to sound professional while my wife is making the “don’t get fired” face from down the hall. I wasn’t even aware of the existence of a face that could communicate not to get terminated, but it turns out she comes equipped with just the right facial muscles. I stammered through the conversation as best I could, and hung up the phone.
I’ll be honest and say I don’t remember much of the call, (and to be perfectly clear, I really appreciated him calling) but I did walk away with one moral to the story: Before picking up the phone in these types of situations, be sure and do some vocal warmups. And put on a shirt.