I Hate Answering the Phone

I hate answering the phone.

I hadn’t really thought about it in a while because my phone hadn’t actually rung in a long while, but I was changing my email signature in the settings and was just about to add my phone number when I thought twice about it… What if I didn’t? Would anyone notice? Does anyone really need to know this number?

I hate the phone ringing. I associate it with bad news – like when my Dad died and Mom called at 3 in the morning to tell me – or bad telemarketing calls. Either way, it’s not a good thing.

I work in a digital bubble. Almost all of my customers deal with me via email. Except one and he will never make the transition at this stage in life. He is also the only customer to whom I have to mail (yes, snail mail) his invoice. He doesn’t do email. He doesn’t do e-payment. I keep forgetting to invoice him. Maybe he’s on to something.

When the paper hits the stands and the phone rings in the day or two following, I assume it’s a complaint. Why? Because it’s usually a complaint. Thankfully, the phone doesn’t ring that often. And more and more people seem to prefer to complain via email, which suits me fine. At least when a complaint arrives by email, I have time to check the ad, or the article or whatever it is that the complaint is about. I have time to prepare myself before I deal with it. I have time to gear up.

Unless I recognize the number, I very seldomly pick up my ringing phone, when it does ring at all. Voicemail. What a wonderful invention. You know what is an even better invention? Voicemail to text. I don’t even have to pick up my phone to listen to the message: I just wait a few minutes and the converted voicemail appears in my text messages. Not always accurately, mind you, but enough for me to understand if the call is something I need to pay attention to or completely ignore. Like the aforementioned telemarketing calls.

None of these are why I really hate answering the phone. I really hate answering the phone because most phone calls are a total waste of time. A transaction that could take 15 seconds by text or tweet is a 5 to 10 minute conversation. The niceties have to be observed. The hi, how are you, how is your spouse / significant other / child / children / cat / dog. Then the meat of the call. Then niceties at the back end. The we should have coffee / lunch / a drink / get together / whatever. It’s just exhausting. Being polite is exhausting. Really, as I said to someone on Twitter tonight, I should live on the top of a mountain. Surrounded by a moat. That has crocodiles in it. As long as I have WIFI.

Just send me a text, will you please? Find me on Facebook. Look me up on Twitter. Send me an email. Just don’t call me. I don’t feel like being polite today.


6 thoughts on “I Hate Answering the Phone

  1. Voicemail to text is wonderful- when it gets it right.

    A few years ago, my grandmother needed a tree cut down and was calling me to get the number for my ARBORIST.

    But after the voicemail text came in, you can imagine how I had to wonder how my 85 year old Gramma had gotten pregnant.

    Yep; phones are a bad idea in general.

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