I check and recheck the numbers to make sure they are right.
Ten with the area code.
Eleven if you count the 1.
I pick up the phone, the cord tangled within itself—it has probably been like that for over a decade.
The tone mimics my heart: one long, nervous scream.
I dial the numbers slowly and precisely.
Error tone. Place the phone back in the receiver.
Twelve digits—I have to press 9 to dial out.
Wait another minute.
Dial the twelve digits again.
I am torn between wanting him to pickup and hoping to get his answering machine.
I squeeze my eyes tighter and tighter each time I hear a ring.
“Hello?” a man answers.
“Hi, my name is Edith Estrella Ramos”
My name is way too long.
“I am your new case planner and I want to see when we can schedule this week’s visit.”
I hold my breath.
“Yes” he said.
“Well, are you available this Thursday?”
Please say yes, please say yes.
“Yes, I get home between 5 and 5:30”
Flex time on the first week!
“That would be perfect. I will touch base with you again on Thursday. Thank you so much!”
And…breathe out! Uuuufff!
Pencil Mr. H on August 16th at 5pm in my brand new weekly planner.
I set my pencil down and lean back in my chair with a satisfied smile on my face.
One down, 12 more families to go.
With about 25-30 children I am responsible for.
Between now and the 31st.
Take away 5 days of blocked training.
That leaves me with 10 days.
And the workers whose caseload I inherited quit suddenly and left a giant mess of papers for me to decipher.
This is definitely going to be fun—and I cannot wait!