Social workers are used to bizarre phone calls from frustrated or stressed out care-givers, it's part of the game. Often a parent will ring you up and spend minutes on end kvetching about something, that for some reason or the other, becomes your problem. Sometimes a well meaning teacher or other professional might call with all kinds of crazy requests, expecting you to whip out a magic wand and cause all kinds of wonderful things to to materialize for their charge out of thin fucking air.
Like I said, you get used to this crap.
Then again, every once and a great while, a call comes in that is just so over the top, it gets shared with other around the office.
Such was the case with the 'Mood Ring Call' that came in on Friday.
One of my coworkers, Miss Lulu came over to my desk, a look of dread on her face and said, "Pax, could you come listen to this message on my phone?"
Before I could answer, she had yanked me from my chair to her desk and had shoved the receiver to my ear and played me the call that was causing her much consternation.
On the other end, a rather odd sounding male voice, almost Indian-like was babbling on thusly, "Hello this is Mr. Wally Alabaster, my son came back home last night from his stay at that blasted group home, and while he had all of his limbs, I noticed that his mood ring was not blue. No. It was black!"
I paused the message and said to Miss. Lulu, "This has got to be a joke!" She shook her head, "No keep listening, there is more!"
Back to the message and whomever this was continued about his son's unfortunate colorization of his mood ring's stone ... in fact, he seemed both freaked out and obsessed, "It's Black! Blaaaaaack!" He howled .
Much more nonsense was uttered with the caller finally asking that someone call him back, though he left no number.
Immediately, Miss Lulu called her contacts at the group homes she sets up appointments with for our population, and none of them had anyone there whose father fit the name or description she was giving.
Soon, other employees came our way to hear this strange voice and it's ludicrous story, and the phone message was then being transferred to almost everyone in Officeland.
Finally, another co-worker, Gracie, listened in and agreed it was a joke. And then she and I began to play detective, we rattled off the names of the usual suspects, but nothing seemed right, and then finally I asked, "Hey Gracie, weren't we talking about mood rings the other day with someone?" Her eyes lit up and she said, "Yes! It was with Joe!"
I made my way to the other side of the building and found Mr. Freudian Slips and asked him if he could join me for a few minutes.
As soon as he made his way to the other side, Miss Lulu was staring him down, foam dripping from her lips, teeth bared, "Did you make a prank call?"
"Yeah, earlier today..."
The poor guy did not have much time to continue explaining as he was dodging staples, pens, sticky notes and various other office supplies that Miss Lulu was now using to assault him with.
Eventually we calmed her down with an Ativan laced brownie, and everyone had a good laugh over the entire incident.
The funny thing is, Miss Lulu takes everything seriously, so I could not help but chuckle over the fact that she had actually called these agencies we do business with and asked them about mood rings and otherwise intact limbs ... honestly, I have not laughed that hard in a long time, and it felt great.