By: Lisa Otter
Me: All right I’ve waited long enough. I’m making the call to cancel my membership. This is the day I’m going to finally cross it off my list!
Operator: Club Procrastination. Ms. Delay speaking, how may I direct your call?
Me: Hi. I’m wondering if you could help. I need to cancel my membership.
Operator: No. I can’t help. You will need to speak to the director of membership services.
Me: Hello? Are you still there?
Me: Well, will you please connect me?
Operator: Huh? Right now? Oh sure one moment please.
Puts down phone. Sounds of filing nails and rustling of paper; followed by a long silent pause. Ring ring ring ring ring.
Director of Membership Services: Hello. You have reached the voice mailbox of Tom Morrow. I’m always away from my desk but if you leave your name and number I’m sure it is quite possible that I may eventually get back to you. If this is of an urgent matter please press zero and ask to speak to my secretary Ms. Delay. Beep.
Me: Hi. My name is Lisa Otter and I need to cancel my membership. Please call me back so we can proceed with the necessary paper work. I am sure there are some forms I’ll need to sign.
Several weeks pass with no call from Club Procrastination.
Operator: Club Procrastination. This is Ms. Delay speaking, how may I direct your call?
Me: Oh hello Ms. Delay. I think we spoke a few weeks back. I left a message for the director of membership services and have not heard from him. I think his name is Mr. Morrow.
Operator: Yes. That’s right, Tom Morrow, though he never comes in to the office.
Operator: He did however tell me you may call someday. Although it is my personal belief that somedays never come.
Me: Does he have the paperwork ready for me to sign?
Operator: Paper work? Ha! No! But he did however leave you a message. Would you like me to read it?
Me: That would be nice.
Operator: Let’s see, I think I left it over here. Oh yes here it is. Clears her throat. It says he regrets to inform you but he will be unable to process your request...
Operator: Says here you have a lifetime membership in Club Procrastination.
Operator: Well Lifetime Memberships are nonrefundable, nontransferable, noncancellable, nonnegotiable, and are not ever intended to be terminated. It is part of your unalienable rights.
Me: But I want to cancel my membership!
Operator: I’m afraid that will not be possible, didn’t you just hear what I said?
Me: Yes I did, but I don’t want to be a member anymore. I want my name removed from your system and from your mailing list. I am sick and tried of receiving your mailings. Did you know the seminar mailings always come three weeks late? Anyhow I make lists now. I’m a real doer. I don’t put anything off.
Operator: You are making lists?
Operator: Oh I see. This is serious. Please hold for one moment.
Operator: Well I’m going to connect you to someone I believe can help you.
Me: Yes! Really? I think I’m finally getting somewhere! Who are you connecting me to?
Operator: Our list prevention specialist. She is excellent, just excellent. She’s a real miracle worker. She helped my Uncle Fred with his nasty little list habit back in the late 90’s. He’s completely cured now. I think you will be very pleased with her. She’s the best of the best.
Operator: Oh yes, she is.
Me: But I don’t really want to be cured. I love making lists. In fact I’m making one right now.
Operator: Stop! Put down the pen. Back away from the list. I will connect you immediately! Do you need me to call an ambulance for you ma’am?
Me: What? No! Listen I’ve got to go. There’s something I need to do.
Operator: No! Please don’t go.