You learn how to answer the telephone from a deep sleep and sound like you have been up for hours.
Your eyes are feeling heavy, very heavy, you’re feeling sleepy, you’re about to go into a deep, deep sleep. Close your eyes sleep, sleep, sleep. Being out of work is like a session with a hypnotist. Anything can make you sleepy: the Mets missing the playoffs, a bag of Doritos, a movie you’ve seen countless times before and the thought of not having any place to go. You can sleep if it’s a sunny day, a cloudy day, a windy day or a rainy day. You can sleep at eight o’clock in the morning, four o’clock in the afternoon and anytime in between. You can sleep if the radio is on, the TV off, the dishwasher’s running and the neighbor’s kids are playing outside your window. You can fall asleep equally well in a chair, on a sofa, on top of a bed or under the covers.
There is however one condition; you can’t let anyone else know you’re asleep. A ringing doorbell, an email or text are easy to dodge, but the biggest threat is the phone call. It doesn’t play fair. It catches you off guard startling you with it’s “all business” sound, feigning sense of urgency and relentless tenacity. You could ignore it of course, and let the machine get it or go into voicemail but there you are drifting along in sweet slumber, dreaming away, not a care in the world and ring, ring, ring, ring, it gets you.
Trying to remember where you are and what you’re hearing, you stumble to find the phone. Not alert enough to scan the caller ID you say, “hello.” A combination or sheer fear and panic shoots through your foggy, groggy mind and in milliseconds you wrestle with questions like, “Who’s calling?” “What do they want?” “What time is it?” “How can I hide the fact that I’m asleep?”
Then all of a sudden out of nowhere this voice arises, clear, confident and in control. It even surprises you. Without practice or preparation you now posses the power of sounding as if you’re wide awake. As far as the rest of the uninvited callers of the world go, you’re busy sending out resumes.