The Right Wrong Number

Answer the Phone!

A Case of Not-Mistaken Identity

The email from my boss flashed on my screen while I was on the phone with a vendor, working out terms of a new contract. “Does the name Susan Swift [a pseudonym] mean anything to you?”

As I listened to our vendor’s justification for her “enhanced pricing program” I clicked on our contact management program and searched for the name. Nothing. I Googled “Susan Swift Orange County” and scanned the results while the vendor explained the new “fuel surcharges.”

Hitting reply, I tapped back to my boss: “There’s a local woman by that name who entertains at children’s birthday parties…that’s all I found.”

A bit later, my boss stepped into my office. “You know,” she said, “Today is the sixteenth anniversary of my mother’s passing.”

“I’m sorry,” I said.

“That woman, Susan–she kept ringing my cell phone. And I was thinking about The Scott Incident.”

I laughed. Poor Scott had contacted us years earlier about our services. When he called back three years later, I mistook him for a solicitor. Scott had called three times before I finally put him through to Tracy. Now he’s our client.

My boss Tracy and I, we remember The Scott Incident.

Never Again. That’s our Scott Incident motto. In our line of work, a lot of relationship-building goes into signing a new client. It’s not at all odd that a prospective client might call on her cell phone. If this Susan Swift was a prospect, Tracy would want to answer her call.

“Finally,” Tracy continued, “She texted me: ‘Are you the Tracy who does my mom’s hair?’ I sent her a reply: ‘No. I’m the Tracy who hired you to entertain at my daughter’s birthday party.'”

Tracy sat down at my desk and looked me in the eye. “Susan texted back that was trying to reach her mom’s hairdresser because her mom had passed away and she wanted to let her know.”


“I texted her back,” she went on, “She and I sent a few messages back and forth. I think she was encouraged.”

We were in the midst of annual meetings with our clients. My boss was busy, busy, busy. But she took time to offer hope to a near-stranger who had reached out to her by mistake.

Or maybe, not. I’ve been on the receiving end of Tracy’s encouragement before. She has a gift for helping you to remember that hurts fade, pain recedes, and a new day waits; undoubtedly her messages blessed Susan. Another blessing was wrapped in the opportunity for Tracy to honor her mother’s memory by offering hope to another grieving daughter whose loss was raw and fresh.

She may not have been the Tracy that Susan was seeking, but she was the right Tracy. 

14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NASB)

I’m linking up with Jennifer Lee at Getting Down With Jesus for God-Bumps & God-Incidences. Please stop by!