Tuesday, 11 August 2015 20:05

In search of that precious 'missing link'

That missing link That missing link

“That would be an interesting story,” she says to herself. “I’ll try to talk to the person in charge,” she says. And try I do: every time… sometimes several times.

It seems that whenever writing on most any topic, sooner or later one will encounter that missing link of information – or even an entire chain of missing links, really.

True, there are those rare occasions when you pick up the phone, call the number you think will lead you to that ‘informed source’ and get your answers right there and then. But more often than not it is not even clear who has that precious piece of information.

I’ll find myself connected, reconnected, disconnected, reconnected once more… I generally try to take it with humour and often laugh when I end up talking to the same person again that I had initially spoken to.

These ‘phone circles’ also have me spell my, admittedly unusual, surname several times with often doubtful results, leaving me weary before I have even started taking any notes.

Calling an organisation about an interesting item in their latest newsletter recently had me thinking that surely I do have the wrong number. “Newsletter? What newsletter?” I was asked. After speaking to several people I did get to the source of the said news, which turned out to be news to many.

But it did leave me wondering… How are these offices structured? Why is it that information seems to flow with so much difficulty in so many of them?

And then there’s that situation when you can sense that you have hit that information jackpot and that the person on the other line has the precious knowledge of the subject matter you want to look into.

But then alas, there is frequently a change of mind – just before we come to a conclusion, deciding that I better talk to so-and-so. And the game starts all over.

If nothing else, my weekly struggles have helped me to improve my (honestly, until now, not-so-great) note-taking skills. Still, sometimes I have so many numbers and names and arrows on my paper, that in the end I cannot remember who is in charge of what and who is supposed to do what – and the thing is: they probably don’t, either.

Generally the comment ‘will call back’ on my notepad is followed by a question mark – if the tone was encouraging maybe even by an exclamation mark. Staying positive is key.

Working with e-mail and a combination of ‘remember me?’ calls seems to work best. My inbox now has different subfolders – with names including ‘Follow up?’, ‘Follow up!’, ‘Maybe later’ and I am considering adding one called ‘Forget it’.

I just hope my e-mails don’t all end up in folders called ‘maybe next year’. Maybe I am just being too demanding and it is simply that I end up with the ‘not sure what to do with’ items.

I shall persist though and keep building my list of ‘good phone numbers’ so that those missing links can be connected or at least overcome.

As published in The Cyprus Weekly of August 7th.  

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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