Take Your Work to Bird

by kelly

We’ve all heard of ‘take your child to work’ day.

Now I’ve run into someone who’s living a variation on that concept.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spoken on the phone a few times at work with a benefits consultant who has been hired by a client. The consultant is retired and works part-time from home. I hear her pets – especially a squawking bird – in the background when we talk on the phone.

It’s odd. We’re trying to conduct serious business. And we each present ourselves very professionally as we discuss the various taxation implications of alternate benefit designs.

So I ignore the bird (and the occasional barking dog), and pretend that I don’t hear it. I presume that she’s privately cringing at her animals’ noises, and hoping that, in fact, I don’t hear it.

One day recently, I arrived at my desk in the morning to find a voice mail from her on a serious matter. During the message, the bird (it sounds like some kind of parrot or cockatiel) made its presence very well known. After she finished her message and was hanging up the phone – I KNOW she didn’t want me to hear this part – she yelled “BIRD….!” in a tone of reproach and mild correction (tempered with affection). I bet Bird got in big trouble for that one.

The next time she called, the signal kept cutting in and out. There was no bird in the background. I’m imagining that she went to the back yard, or the basement, and called me on a cell phone to escape the sound of the bird. It was hard to communicate over the weak signal.

I’d rather have the bird.

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