By Ben Fritz© ESPNcricinfo.comOn Monday, May 11, at 9:35am, a young man with a short, wispy black beard and a wry smile walked up to the Bosch customer services desk and handed the phone to a staff member.
“I’ve been ringing this phone for 10 years, it’s got a good battery life,” he said, gesturing to the phone with his free hand.
“Do you know what it’s for?”
The staff member looked confused.
“What’s it for?” asked the man.
“It’s for your phone,” he replied.
He then asked, “What do you need?”
“I’m not sure,” the man replied, “but it’ll work for you.”
The staff member said, “OK, thanks, but what’s it doing on my end?”
“Just ringing the phone for you,” said the man, waving his hand.
He pointed to the back of the phone.
“That’s the phone,” said a staff employee.
“Are you sure you’re on the right one?”
“It was just on my way back to work,” said another staff member, gestured to the front of the handset.
The man smiled and nodded.
“Good,” said an assistant.
“Let me just put the phone down for a second and I’ll get it.”
The young man returned a few minutes later, placed the phone on his desk and told the assistant to hold it.
He handed it to another staff employee who placed it on the desk next to the desk where the young man was waiting.
The young man, in a very casual way, handed the assistant a few pieces of paper and then said, in what sounded to everyone else like an American accent, “I can see the wires going down.”
He told the staff member to remove the battery and put it away.
The staff employee was impressed, as the young lad had not previously asked to be disconnected from the phone during the installation process.
“Can you see what’s going on here?” asked another staff person.
“Yeah, you can see it,” the young woman replied.
“But don’t worry,” she reassured the young staff member who nodded in understanding.
The assistant then removed the battery from the handset, which was in its case in a case.
“Great,” the assistant said.
“You should be able to use it.
It’s for you, it says on the back.”
The staff assistant then walked away and told another employee, “It works.”
The young lad then handed the staff employee another piece of paper with a phone number on it.
“If you can get that, we can work out how to get your phone back to you.”
“Oh,” the staff assistant replied, looking around the office.
“Well, what do you want to do?” the young employee asked.
“Ok, so this is a bit of a trick question,” the employee replied.
It sounded like a test, but he was actually being polite.
The old man smiled, nodded, and walked away.
“Why don’t you go home?” he asked the young person.
The other staff member nodded and went back to their phones.
The next day, the young assistant took the phone and handed it back to the staff person, who was confused and asked the old man, “How can I get this phone back?”
“Well,” the old person replied, as if he had just been asked this question, “you can go home.”
He then handed back the phone back, placed it down and turned to the young worker.
“OK,” he exclaimed, “so now you have a phone, but the phone is not working.”
The old person turned to his wife and said, with a hint of disbelief, “But you can just go home and you won’t have to pay for the phone.”
The woman’s eyes widened and she replied, in an exaggerated tone, “Really?”
She then added, “Well that’s a lot of money.”
The assistant laughed.
“Oh my god, I didn’t think that would happen.”
“Yeah,” the two women said, as they both began to laugh.
“We’ll do it,” said one of them, as he walked back to his phone.
The staff person handed the young boy his phone and then asked the assistant, “Are there any other phones here?”
“Oh no,” replied the assistant.
He looked around the room.
“There are a few phones here,” he explained.
“And they work,” he continued, as his wife looked over her shoulder at the phone that she had been waiting for.
“Here’s my phone, this is my phone,” she replied.
The two women turned to each other and began laughing.
“Okay, let’s do this,” said their husband, as one of the two woman sat on the phone while the other one sat on her chair and looked