Hello? Operator?

Gawd! I hate talking on the phone. Actually, no, scratch that. I abhor talking on the phone, I have an aversion for it. Among all the methods of communication available to us humans today, I think talking on the phone is slightly ahead of carrier pigeons, but not by much.

I hate it because it’s so much harder to talk to someone when you’re not actually seeing them, imagining their reactions to what you’re saying, always wondering “is he rolling his eyes as I’m saying this?”. I hate those awkward pauses, which in a face to face situation could be easily filled by a giggle or a pensive/conclusive remark such as “so yeah…”. I hate being in the dark about things. I prefer emails. I can better structure my thoughts and be more coherent when I write. To tell you the truth, I don’t know what I would have done if I were living in the 80s when the telephone calls were the equivalent of texting today.

Fortunately my job doesn’t require that much telephone usage but D’s job on the other hand has him dialing a lot more often. Unlike me, though, he doesn’t hate it at all. But this doesn’t mean he hasn’t had his fair share of awkward telephone conversations.

 

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Example #1

X: “Hi, may I speak to Alexandra please?”

D: “Hi. She’s not here at the moment. This is her… umm… his… girlfriend, her… umm…”

X: “… boyfriend!”

D: “Yes!”

 

Example #2

X: “Hi, D. How are you doing?”

D: “I’m doing very… umm… fine.”

[Awkward 3-second silence during which he was supposed to return the question, but common sense failed him that instant]

D: “Yeah, so, about the blah blah…”

 

See what I mean? I dread this kind of situations. For me it’s like I’m passing thorough some kind of evaluation every time I speak on the phone. This reminds me of the “take it easy” phone message from Seinfeld. Maybe I should start eating an apple before making a phone call…

 

 

What are your thoughts on this?

Comments (7)

  • I respectfully disagree :)
    Try sending or texting your parents who haven’t seen you in x months.
    OR…ask D about our private phone line where we used to talk for HOURS on end, THEN tell me I could have wrote him a 100page email :)
    And all those things you get from a person standing next to you, can be inferred by the tone of one’s voice and even by those awkward pauses 😉
    Who knows…maybe the problem’s not the phone 😛

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  • –@ Vlad: Ahem… So you think the problem might be… ME? Me?!
    Seriously, of course it’s me. It’s ’cause I’m a bit insane in the membrane as D says. The problem is not talking on the phone with parents/family/bf, no, that I’m fine with. It’s the talking with non-family members and non-friends that’s the painful part…

    Reply
  • I HATE talking on the phone. I totally agree about the emails verses the phone. All of my phone calls usually last around less than a minute.

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  • Lol, no i wasn’t implying the problem’s you. :) Just the pair caller-receiver that makes odd situations sometimes.
    Some of the funniest conversations I had were the ones I had on the phone : the most recent involving some guy calling me two offices away and even though I do have caller ID on the phone I kept asking Who is this? and the faking i can’t hear him , just to see him in my office only seconds later being like “i think something’s wrong with your phone dude
    AND some of the most frustrating : like having to spell my last name to english operators and ending up using military alphabet L as in Lima…A as in Alpha…P as in Peter… u get the gist :) *i wanted literally choke the other person thru the phone* )

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  • Haha, aww. I also don’t really enjoy telephone conversations very much but I seem to do quite well and always come across as professional. However, it’s because I always know and practice what I’m going to say. If I’m thrown off guard I always sound like an idiot. Quite often, I’ll even write down exactly what I want to say!

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  • OMG, no offence, but, seriously, what is wrong with you??? I’d probably be out of a job if I had that kind of problem as my current one requires that I scare the s**t out of colleagues all throughout the country so that they, in turn scare the beejeebus out of customers into making paymennts and deposits. It goes something like this: “Gimme all yer money, hark, hark!!!” 😀

    Reply
  • > ’cause I’m a bit insane in the membrane as D says

    Hi. Message for you. The 1990s called. They want their phrase back.

    Reply

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