The First Call

I check and recheck the numbers to make sure they are right.

Seven digits.

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!

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