Stop pressing redial


“Sorry,” I heard Kim say, “you have the wrong number.” She paused while the person at the other end apologized profusely. “Oh, that’s ok,” she said, “it happens.”

She was halfway into the dining room to tell me about the call when the phone rang again.

“Bet they pressed redial,” she said.

Sure enough the person on the other end had pressed redial and was very confused.

“I can’t have the wrong number again,” the man protested.

“I’m sorry,” Kim said, “you do.”

“But I can’t,” the man began to sound annoyed at Kim for answering the phone when he was clearly dialing someone else. “The first time I must have entered the wrong number but not this time. This time I just hit redial.”

We’ve come to think of it as a metaphor.

My last time in the San Francisco airport I stopped for a burger while waiting for the plane. As I approached the counter a woman with several older children pushed ahead of me. Unusually, this didn’t bother me.

The woman, on her cell phone of course, had each child order and then she added her order. The woman behind the counter rang her up and the woman ahead of me paused her phone call long enough to reach into her purse and take out an envelope. She slit open the envelope and took out a heavy piece of paper that held two identical bank cards with their stickers still on them.

“Here,” she said passing her bank card to the woman behind the register and going back to her phone call. The woman behind the register swiped the card and it came back rejected. This got the customer to hang up the phone and pay attention.

“Run it again,” she said. So the woman behind the counter ran the card again. The card with the sticker on it. The sticker that said to activate the card you had to call this number from your home phone.

“Sorry,” the woman behind the counter said, “rejected.”

The woman ahead of me looked at the other card on that piece of paper in her envelope. The identical card with the identical sticker she still wasn’t reading.

“Run this one,” she said.

The woman behind the counter did. Twice. Finally, the woman ahead of me stopped pressing redial and paid in cash.

I hate to admit it, but I press redial in many areas of my life every day. I’m working on it.