Children on the Phone

Josie Leavitt - March 2, 2012

As Elizabeth mentioned in her post yesterday, this is vacation week for most of our customers. Curious things happen during vacation week. Kids are home more and parents are often looking for things to do. One thing that kids do during this time off is call the bookstore. Part of it is because they have time on their hands, and part of it parents are getting them used to using the phone.
These phone calls vary greatly, usually by age. Obviously, the younger the child, the cuter the call and the less information conveyed. I’ve learned that calls with heavy breathing are not necessarily dirty in nature, it’s usually a small child making her first call to a store.
I answer the phone, “Flying Pig Bookstore.” If I’m greeted by silence with breathing in the background, I usually repeat the name of store. Sometimes I hear a parent in the background urging the child to ask for their book.
“Um, hi. Um, do you have Fancy Nancy?” The voice is impossibly high pitched and  I say yes and then the inevitable happens, the child has no idea how to end a phone call, so we’re back to the breathing. “Would you like me to hold it for you?” As soon as the words are out of my mouth I realize this four-year-old moppet has no idea what I mean. I try not to resort to asking for their parent, so I ask the little one her name and as sure as the sun rises in the east, I cannot understand what she said, so I just leave the on the counter with a note: for the child who called in.
The calls from eight-to-ten year-olds involve fast breathing and often shouting. I answer the phone, “Flying Pig Bookstore,”  and am greeted by fast talking kids searching for a particular book. “Hi, doyouhavetheWimpyKidbook?” It takes my brain a few seconds to parse that sentence, as the only thing I’ve heard is Kid and book. I ask the boy to repeat himself and he says it just as fast. But this time I’m prepared for the speed of the question. “Yes, we’ve got that.” This is the moment I never remember to move the phone away from my ear because the next thing I hear is a shout, directly into the phone, “MOM THEY HAVE THE BOOK.”
And then, they hang up.

2 thoughts on “Children on the Phone

  1. Eric Luper

    Training my kids to use the phone has been both frustrating and amusing. Truth be told, by the time they become adults, we probably won’t be using the phone much anymore. And at 7 and 11, my kids are much better at texting than I will ever be.


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