by: Rebecca Taylor
**Previously published by Perspectives Magazine**
I am invoice 7742 for the Comunico Telephone Company. Usually the life of an invoice is unpleasant, it is sent out to the customer who proceeds to pay it and then file it away in case it is needed for reference at a later date. Life in a filing cabinet or stuck away in a drawer is a dark and lonely life except for the company of any other invoices or miscellaneous correspondence that is kept there. I am one of the lucky ones. I was sent to Miss Camryn Yates in a plain white envelope with a computer-generated peel and stick label and the address and logo of Comunico were in the top left hand corner and the stamp, a picture of a ballerina at the right. This was my home for five days, jostling around in mailbags and large trucks to get to my final destination. Finally, I arrived in Miss Yates mailbox and she took me out of solitary confinement. She sighed when she looked at me, shaking her head in disbelief.
“They’ve done it again,” she said, “how hard is it to enter the correct phone plan in a computer system? I’m going to have to call Comunico and explain it to them again; I have the magenta long distance program, not the bronze one. In a year, I would never make enough long distance calls to need the bronze plan. I’d had the fuchsia plan for five years, and then one day someone decided that the plan’s colours needed changing. This is the third time, I’ve had to call and get a credit on my bill, and each time someone tells me the problem is fixed. And apparently it hasn’t been yet, do they forget to hit the save button or what? Last chance, Comunico, or I’m switching to the Snowden Phone Group.” Tossing me down on the desk and picking up the telephone, Miss Yates dialled Comunico’s toll free number. When Stella the automated service guide came on, Miss Yates asked for English, but Stella must not have been working properly because she kept repeating, “I am sorry I did not comprehend your selection, please try again,” even though Miss Yates pronunciation on the word was very clear. I could tell by the way her facial expression was that she was not happy, eventually after trying for a long time with no success, a prompt came on the phone saying “press 1 for English.” Miss Yates pressed the button so hard that I could feel the telephone tremble from where it was sitting on me, somewhere in all of her trying to get Stella to comprehend, a wind had come up and tried to blow me away, so Miss Yates was using the telephone as a paperweight for me. The phone’s shivering was more frightening to me that being stuffed inside the envelope and sent on a lonely bumpy journey. For a few minutes, I felt the information that is printed on me stiffen. Finally after what seemed like an eternity to me, Miss Yates was put on hold and thankfully a good radio station was playing, none of the supposedly calming chamber music, that’s enough to put a person to sleep.
After about half an hour of listening to the music and drumming a pen against the desk, thankfully not on me, Miss Yates was transferred to customer service representative.
“Josh, speaking, how may I help you?” said the friendly voice at the other end of the line.
“I got my phone bill today, and my phone plan is wrong on it again.”
Josh proceeded to take Miss Yates telephone number and asked her a few security questions to confirm her identity, she gave them her account number, and current owed amount by reading the information off of me, who she was now holding in her hand, phone cradled between her neck and ear and pen in the other hand.
After a few more minutes, Josh had found Miss Yates account in the computer system. He said, “Are you the Camryn Yates who went to Englewood High School and graduated in 1996?”
“Yes, but how would you know that?”
“Because I was there, Cam; Josh Weiler.”
“I can’t believe it, it’s been over ten years since we’ve seen each other. Can you fix my phone problem?” answered Miss Yates switching from nostalgic back to her reason for calling.
After a few minutes of button clicking on the other end of the line, Josh Weiler had Miss Yates’ phone plan fixed up and it stayed fixed this time.
“Cam, if you’re not married or anything like that, can I call you sometime?” asked Mr. Weiler.
“You have my number.”
After a few more brief minutes of conversation, Mr. Weiler and Miss Yates hung up as Mr. Weiler had to respond to more customer service questions. Mr. Weiler called Miss Yates and they clicked. After several months of dating, they got married, and I now sit on the first page of their wedding album surrounded by beautiful pictures and happy memories. When I think of all of the telephone invoices that end up stuck away in the dark, and sometimes eventually shredded I shudder and know how fortunate I am to have been invoice 7742 for Miss Camryn Yates. I changed her life and because of that day, my life’s path was changed too. I will be around forever to be a treasured matchmaker that will be shown to children and grandchildren in the years that come. If anyone ever asks me if I believe in destiny, I will tell them yes, how could anyone with a life like mine believe differently.