Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why I hate the $#$*(&#$ phone

Maybe some of you get calls telling you "You overpaid at the dentist's, come pick up a check for what's left over." Or "The story you submitted to our publication has been accepted, good work!" or you get calls from friends who want to make plans for lunch.

Me, I get calls asking me to do stuff. Or long rambling phone messages from lonely people I have in my life who don't quite twig to the fact that if it's between 8 am and 4 pm, I am unlikely to be home...and they end their messages with a "you really don't need to call me back." (So I don't. Yeah, it's evil, but I have a couple people in my life who would spend my hour and a half of daily free-time filling my ear with their troubles). Or I get those execrable pre-recorded calls telling me my
car warranty is expiring (No **** Sherlock, I bought my car IN THE LAST MILLENNIUM.)

Today, my flippin' phone was ringing off the hook:

1. prospective student's mom (hopefully not a helicopter mom) calling to set up an appointment
2. a very short-notice call requesting a letter of recommendation (you call this afternoon, and you need it by 8 tomorrow? Sorry.)
3. Someone calling my home phone from church and leaving a long message about "you already know this but" a mutual friend who is having health issues. (yes. I did.)
4. One of those $(%*#$# "your car warranty is expiring" (this one at 5:30 pm, just as I had got in the shower. And I jumped out to answer it, because I was afraid it might be call about my friend with health issues. I don't swear often in the privacy of my home, but the air around the phone was just a little blue after I hung up on the recording.
5. A reminder from the dentist.
6. Someone calling me from AAUW, wanting me to help them with the horrid tax forms for non-profit groups that we get sent every year - with the promise every year that "this is a 'blanket' form and you will be covered from here on out; you will never need to fill anything more out." Yeah, sure. And you probably have some nice Montana oceanfront resort property to sell.

So it's not been a good phone day. And I'm seriously tempted (were it not for my friend with the health problems) to refuse to answer if it rings again tonight.

I never get "fun" calls or just-because calls or nice calls. Oh, my parents call me, but the times are usually pre-planned so I'm expecting it. But among unexpected phone calls, they tend to be unpleasant or ugly.

And people think it's odd I hate the phone and hate talking on it...

(I will say in my friends' defense, my local friends are more prone to want to talk face to face, and my distant friends are more likely to use e-mail. And heck, I LIKE e-mail as a way of communication. I just wish my heart didn't sink every time my phone rings, because I'm expecting something not-fun on the other end.)

1 comment:

Sheila O'Malley said...

I never answer the phone. I screen all calls. The only people I pick up for are my immediate family, because of potential emergencies, or sister about to have a baby, or whatever. But everyone else goes straight to voice mail and I call them back when I am in a "talking-on-the-phone" mood.

I cannot stand the phone, I am not "a phone person", never have been - I like face to face - and I refuse to be harassed by the ringing of my own dern gadget.

I also do not have a home phone. I have often thought I should get a landline - mainly because on September 11 the landline was the only possible way to maybe possibly reach ANYONE - cell phones were useless ... But for now, I just have a cell phone - and I mainly use it as a voice mail service.

I don't have a lot of needy people in my life, like you seem to do, ricki - but I just don't like to always be available. So my phone, yes, may be ON - and it usually is - but I screen all calls. My friends know this about me, and know it's probably best to just shoot me an email and set up a time to get together, or a "phone date" (I am BIG on phone dates ... set up beforehand).

I glory in screening all calls. No exceptions except for immediate family. It's brill.