White Lies I Use When I’m on the Funeral Home’s Toilet
Our funeral home doesn’t have a secretary. We answer the phone ourselves.
When you work at a funeral home, any call could be a death call, and it would be really awful if someone called us to ask for our help with a death in their family and we don’t pick up the phone.
So if I’m answering the funeral home’s phone and I’m on the toilet, it creates a predicament. The crux of the predicament is this: many times the nature of the phone call demands that I have access to all the information on my computer data base.
When I’m on the toilet and I get a call asking, “Can you tell me the middle name of such and such who died in 1997?”, or “I’m researching my family history and I need to know where John Doe is buried” I can’t simply say, “I’m taking a dump … give me another five minutes.”
I usually look around for some paper and a pen, which is common place in the restroom of a business; but, in our funeral home that pen and paper always seems to be mysteriously absent.
If the paper and pen are absent, I lie.
I guess these lies are by definition “white lies” as they’re not meant to harm, but to simply protect the sensitivities created by social mores. Nobody wants to be told that they guy on the other line is relieving himself of yesterday’s turkey and bean dinner.
Here are a few white lies I’ve used: “I’m outside doing some yard work, let me put you on hold.” “I’m in the process of restarting my computer, just give me a minute … you know how long it takes PCs to start up.”
Nothing awful. Plain, innocent, necessary white lies.
My phone doesn’t have a “hold” button or a “mute” button, so I put my thumb over the talking end of the cordless and hope I can complete my task with one hand.
It gets tricky. Sometimes sticky. But I’m pretty talented.
In fact, answering the phone while on the toilet only involves minor league talent.
Major league talent is put to the test when you’re sitting on the porcelain and the doorbell rings. Then you pray to God that your movement was Teflon coated.