I work in downtown Philadelphia. Since it took me about eight months to FIND my job, I am not going to do anything to jeopardize said gainful employment, so I will only go so far as to say that it is affiliated with those people who wish to visit Philly and learn a little something about our nation's origins during various colonial periods. There, that's all you're getting. Just remember, my job is rooted in the past.
Which makes the phone call I got today all the more strange.
I answered the phone in my normal, painfully polite way, (I am at work, after all) and, for a moment, heard nothing but heavy breathing followed sloppily by the phrase: "um… what?"
Lets stop here for a moment. You have called me, presumably knowing what you wanted to ask, but upon being given your opportunity to pose said query you instead decide to ask me what it is I just said, despite the fact that what I just said amounted to: "hello, how can I help you." Things were off to a running start.
"Hello," I repeated. "How may I help you?"
"Um… yeah. I want to know about the tree watching."
Did I say RUNNING start? We're fucking flying, baby.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Yeah, can you give me any proof that this is a good weekend to drive up and look at the leaves?"
Can I give you proof? Last I checked I am not a Google Image search but, despite the fact that this phone call has nothing to do with my occupation, I will attempt to gift you, kind caller, with the information you crave:
"Well, this would probably be a good weekend. The leaves are definitely changing colors and they haven't started to fall yet." I replied, thinly maintaining my joviality.
"Yeah," the suddenly brusque voice on the other end sputtered. "But can you tell me for sure that this is a good weekend?"
"No. But I bet it would be."
"Oh, okay" came the response, well soaked in disappointment, then, after a brief pause. "Who can I call to ask about the foliage?"
Despite the fact that this phone call continued for many more mind-numbing moments after this particular question, I believe we have gotten to the crux of my point right here. I will summarize what just happened: the individual awoke, early in the morning, (for it was not yet 9:30AM) to find that his autumn-addled neurons had suddenly ejaculated the idea of "pretty tree watching" into his frontal lobe.
But instead of instantly rushing off to fulfill what had suddenly become his most base desire, the last gasp of prudence caused this individual to, instead, opt for safety and call the city of Philadelphia in advance, to make sure this was a "good weekend to drive up and look at the leaves".
Unfortunately, the inherent rush of dopamine from the orgasmic pleasure of, again… "tree watching", caused a momentary loss of higher functioning after the brain had already decided to phone ahead, wherein this person ignored the fact that he had just selected any old number from the Philadelphia tourist website, muddled his way through punching the buttons and then spurted out his question to me… the surprised and quite random individual on the other end.
About halfway through our opening conversation this individual then suddenly realized that I was not the local "tree watching" expert and, taking the natural turn, decided to ask the person he had already called about leaves to whom he should call about leaves.
For reference's sake: this is like me calling Burger King, latching onto the first person I spoke to and then demanding CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE on which brand of Eastern European vodka best complimented my fucking bowl of BORSCH! You can't just spin the globe of phone numbers, close your eyes and drop a finger at random!
This represents a new level in laziness for our society. It used to be that you had to find some reference book, do the research and then get your answer. With the advent of the internet it became easier, (thank God) you just enter in your keywords and then all you have to do is sift through the results to find what best suits you.
But now we have apparently moved into a whole new phase: the phase where you do enough research to find someone who will then DO THE WORK FOR YOU. Is this saving you any time? Why are you calling me? I guess I understand the rationale behind calling someone affiliated with Philadelphia tourism… but this lovely individual would probably have been just as well served by picking up a Philly phone book and dialing every number until someone gave him the information he wanted.
Needless to say I told him to call the parks department… let them deal with it and, no, I did not give him their number, he can find that himself.