So, back on my very first day with the Association of Clinical Research Professionals I probably spent a good two hours with my coworker Scott as he set me up with all the office digs. Creating my username and password for the office network, getting my Outlook up and running, assigning me a code for the printers, whatnot and what have you. They’ve really hooked me up down here. If you weren’t privy to it, you’d look around the office and assume that I was just another young professional; eyes pinned to two desktop monitors with a mean comb over that’s rivaled by few. Unfortunately, my office email address, “acrp.intern,” continuously proves to blow my cover. Which isn’t saying that I’m anything less than professional, but you get it.
Anyways, during my initial office intake with coworker Scott, he was going over my phone extension, how to log in and out of phones around the office, helping me set up my voice mail, etc. Then we both had to pause for a moment to have a good laugh over the whole formality and its various complications because really, who’s ever going to call me, the intern? Over the weeks this has shown itself to be quite true to my disappointment. I enjoy talking to strangers on the phone. Hopefully that doesn’t come across as strange, but for me there’s something unique about conversing with someone you’ll most probably never meet in person and I revel in the etiquette of proper business phone communications. The days pass, my poor little extension 278 continues to serve no purpose other than a convenient place for dust to take up residence, and I don’t get the pleasure of slipping into my inner Eddie Haskell.
But heck, what do you know. Finally, the other day, it happens. You can immediately tell that I rarely, to ever, receive calls. This is because while usually you can barely make out the faint beeping of a person’s unit who’s right in your immediate quadrant, mine explodes so violently it’s blatantly obvious that I’ve never so much as checked what volume my ringer is set to. After the brief second of bewilderment mixed with giddiness I look at the flashing screen that reads Lockheed Martin and puzzle myself over what sort of business one of the nation’s largest players in the military-industrial complex could possible have with an association of clinical researchers. I suppose a relation between the two isn’t that far out of the question really; however, I certainly thought this was an unlikely caller, let alone to be my first.
Now, I wish this could go in the direction of a stern voice on the line giving me some sort of instructions as to how many times to switch cabs before meeting an unnamed contact at an undisclosed location. Here it would be revealed to me that this internship is really one big cover and I’ve actually been recruited into some kind of highly secretive contract mercenary shenanigans or something like that that would surely entail me saving the world on some level. Alas. Honesty is the best policy. Turns out that this man has called to request that I make my way to a storage unit to repair three large crates that have fallen into disrepair. Of course I entertain this for a good minute and a half, maybe two, before inquiring as to the contents of said crates. My intuition was in the right place as it all came undone and he reminded me of the industrial air conditioning components that apparently I, or my company, had sold him. Upon retelling him that he was speaking with the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, which was clearly pronounced in my primary greeting, “Thank you for calling the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, this is Kip speaking, how may I help you?” the jig was up. Sorry, wrong number, have a pleasant day.
My moment of glory, squandered by another man’s reckless dialing. I’ll have to console myself with the hope of another day and the absentmindedness of another cubicle-bound monitor junkie.