The phone rang. I wasn't working the phones at my library job, but our phone person was already on the phone, so, since I was loitering nearby, I answered. I greeted the caller. In response the caller said something so quiet, so mumbled, and so accented, that I couldn't even begin to interpret it.
"I'm sorry." I said. "Could you repeat that?"
The person on the other end of the line repeated at an equally unintelligible level.
"Still didn't catch that." I said regretfully. "Rough connection maybe? Could you say it a bit slower and louder?"
I don't know if it was the fact of a third repetition or that it was louder or both, but finally I was able to make out a question climbing through the haze and the accent and the mumbling. "Who is this I'm talking to?" is what it asked.
It sounded a little combative, and I thought "Wow, how confrontational!" But I roll with the punches and figure people are going to be how they're going to be. So I told her who I was and asked if I could help her.
In a friendly tone she told me who she was and how she wouldn't be in that day because of some weather related issues.
Ah, it was one of my co-workers.