By MISTY KNISELY MANAGING EDITOR
---- — If my office phone rings between 5:15 and 5:30 p.m., I’m instantly hopeful because there’s a good chance there’s one of two little voices ready to greet me on the other end.
I regularly get calls at the office from my nieces when they’re on their way home from school. My sister picks them up after work and then they all head for home. If I’m getting to talk to them, it’s normally for one of three reasons.
1) Something happened at school and they want to tell me about it.
2) They are whiny and my sister wants them in a better mood.
3) They are talking non-stop and driving my sister nuts. She hands them the already dialing phone and sics ‘em on poor Aunt Misty.
But regardless of the reason why they’re calling, it always ends the same way: me sitting in my office having a rather odd conversation with a 6- and 9-year-old. The beauty of it is, the youngest still hasn’t mastered the art of using a phone correctly. That means I’m always on speaker phone and have to talk loudly because the phone is normally 3 miles from someone’s face. I can often hear snickering from the newsroom during these phone calls.
Earlier this week, I was treated with a No. 3 phone call. Here’s how it went:
Me: Pharos-Tribune newsroom, this is Misty speaking. How can I help you?
Ashlynn, my youngest niece: Hi Misty! What are youuuuuuu doing?
Me: Ashlynn! Hi, sweetie! I’m working. What are you doing?
Ashlynn: Driving home from school.
Me: You’re driving? I didn’t know you knew how to drive!
Ashlynn: No, silly. Mommy’s driving.
Me: Oh, OK. Is she doing a good job?
Ashlynn: No. OK, bye Misty. I love you!
There’s a momentary pause and the rustling of the phone being handed off can be heard.
Aowyn: Hi Misty! What are youuuuuuuu doing?
Me: Hi, babe! I’m working.
Me: Because I have to. Did you have fun at school today?
Me: Did you learn anything?
Me: No? Why not?
Aowyn: I don’t know.
Me: Well, I tell you what. You come work for me and I’ll go to school for you. Maybe I’ll learn something.
Aowyn: Ummm, do you get recess?
Aowyn: No, I don’t want to switch then.
Me: But you get to be in charge if you switch me.
Aowyn: If you’re in charge, why can’t you make there be recess?
Me: Well, sweetie, it doesn’t work that way.
Aowyn: Well, I’m in charge now and I say it’s recess all day where you work!
Me: Thanks! My staff already likes you better than me! So, since you’re in charge, does that mean you’re going to come work for me now?
Me: Oh. So, I’m still working here and you’re still going to school, right?
Aowyn: Yes, but I’m still not going to learn anything.
Reach Misty Knisely at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5155