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With the continuous ring
And the flashing red light,
I pick up the phone quickly,
Hoping I get this conversation right.

“Hello?” I begin shakily,
Often with an awkward silence
Between the caller and I,
Until I stutter the company’s name
And the person responds
With a trail of words
I struggle to catch
While repeatedly saying “Yes”.

Then comes the standardised suggestion –
“Can you send us an email instead?”
I await the caller’s reply
Amidst a wave of apprehension.

Usually it’s a moment of confusion,
Then resigned acceptance
After some of my hopeful
But weak attempts of persuasion.

“Thank you, bye bye.”
Only then is my heart at ease
For the troubling moment is over
And I am left alone and free…

But here comes a student walking in
And once again, the stuttering begins…

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