Monday, May 14, 2007

My Mother's Day Surprise

This past Friday morning, I saw the Winston’s truck at the end of the driveway, which always makes my heart beat faster. If you live outside the Boston area, you may not know that a Winston’s delivery means an inventive, stunning floral arrangement will soon be gracing your dining room table.

But truth be told, I kinda expected this delivery. Which leads us to my tale of charming coincidence.

From time to time, CHEN PR enables the fundraisers at our local public radio station, WBUR, by doing a shift staffing the phones. It’s fun, and we get an on-air thank you. Most of us who participate do it because we’re big ‘BUR fans, but the CHEN plug is always a nice bonus.

Last Wednesday, we were taking calls for one of the most stressful fundraisers -- Mother’s Day with Winston Flowers. People ask hard questions like: “Are the hydrangeas a plant or cut flowers?” “Do you think the plant will survive in Michigan?” “Will they leave them on the porch if she’s not there?” “Will the card say it’s from WBUR?”

So I picked up the phone and immediately knew I had a problem caller. He explained that he had called in a few days before, but thought he may have given the number from one credit card and the expiration date from another. He wanted to check on that. I pulled up the free-form “Submit Problem” form, for the truly gnarly issues. I started through the form.

Me: “First name sir?”

Caller: “Carl.”

Me: “Oh my husband’s name is Carl."

Caller: "And it's a wonderful name, but unless his last name is 'Barnes,' then it's not me."

Me: “It is Barnes.”

Caller: "Barnes?"

I was speechless. My husband’s name is Carl Barnes.

Caller (very confused): “Barb??” (He later said I sounded so professional he didn’t recognize my voice, and I certainly hadn’t recognized his.)

So he'd forgotten that I'm at 'BUR that morning, but he said he figured that the number he was calling - from his confirmation email - was a help line, not the pledge line. And with 25-30 people on the phone bank, what are the odds he'd get me? (Well, roughly 3 to 4%.)

We’ve been telling everyone this story all week. The romantics say it’s because we’re just so connected. His partners, professional skeptics, say it's a good thing the flowers were actually for me. But I'll stand with his receptionist, who said it just proved that we're soul mates.

I love the flowers honey, and thanks for supporting WBUR.

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