Ariel and Sender wrote the following when they were very small. The background to this was the numerous telephone calls they had to answer for Sara while she was teaching. One day the phone rings and Sender (S) answers the phone.
Caller: Hello! May I speak to Mrs. Gluch?
Sender: What’s your name?
C: Audrey Cohen.
S: Mrs. Cohen do you have an appointment?
C: I beg your pardon?
S: Do you have an appointment?
C: No!! All I want to do is to speak to Mrs. Gluch.
S: Yes I know that.
C: I don’t understand.
S: Ag shame, what a pity.
C: I beg your pardon?
S: I said: what a pity.
S: You see, now in order to speak to my mother you must have an appointment.
S: She is a very busy lady you know.
C: I see. Well how do I go about getting an appointment?
S: Oh- you’ll have to speak to my mother about that.
C: Good, let me do that. May I speak to her?
S: I’m sorry you cannot.
C: Why not?
S: Well you don’t have an appointment.
C: Well how on earth can I get an appointment?
S: You’ll have to speak to my Mom.
C: (Long silence). No you don’t understand. I cannot speak to your Mom as I don’t have an appointment.
S: That’s right.
C: Well how on earth do I get an appointment?
S: Well either you speak to her….
S: ….Or you can apply for an application form.
C: Well why didn’t you say so from the start.
S: It’s a long drawn out process.
C: Is there any other way?
S: No. Rules are rules.
C: Well, let me apply for an application form.
S: O.K. I’ll have to take down your particulars.
S: Name address, telephone number, ID number, shoe size…
C: What on earth do you need that for?
S: I’m sorry Ma’am. Rules are rules.
C: Size 7. Anything else?
S: Yes. Medical Aid society, name and address.
C: When will I receive the application form?
S: Within the next month. If you do not receive it by then, please reapply.
C: I see. Goodbye.
S: Ma’am. Not so fast.
C: Why? Do I have to apply to say goodbye?
S: Honestly lady don’t be silly. Who do you think we are?
C: I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.
S: It’s all right. Many people react like that. Just remember a commissioner of oaths and two witnesses must sign your application form. And before I forget. You must enclose two certified copies of your latest tax returns.
S: Yes it is. Isn’t it?
C: What happens after I return my form?
S: First our computer processes it and then our second computer checks it. Then the first computer rechecks it and passes the information onto a committee.
C: The Committee?
S: Yes, it decides whether the application is accepted or not.
C: How is that decided?
S: There are a lot of factors.
C: Never mind that. How long does all this take?
S: Between 3-4 months.
C: What! Can’t this be speeded up?
S: Ma’am, do you know anything about computers?
S: Nor do I. That is my brother’s department. Would you like to speak to him? Perhaps he can help you?
C: Yes! Please!
S: Well do you have an appointment?