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Thursday, October 06, 2011

I Hate The Phone

People talk about texting and e-mail posing problems because you communicate without the aid of body language and inuendo. I say- give me the written word. I never think fast, and writing allows me to pause mid-sentence, mid-thought and re-evaluate, edit, and re-read so I'm more sure that my words are saying what I want them to.

The phone makes me feel panicky because its jarringly immediate. There's no body language. There's no smiling to make up for the fact that your brain has gone on the blink. You've just got to spit it out right quick. And it better make sense. Right. Now.

I bought an electrolux at the thrift shop a few weeks ago for $25.oo. I couldn't believe my good fortune. This vacuum put an entirely new spin on the whole concept of vacuuming. Instead of passing over the same thread fifty times without much success, my new/old electrolux pretty near relocated the laminate strips in my living room.

On day two of deleriously happy housekeeping, the vacuum made a tired sound.
On day three it sunk down to a dull, bass sound and the powerful suction had become a thing of the past.
The moter had blown.
Wanting to give the guys at the thrift shop a break, I decided to steel my nerves and call up a guy from around town who has a reputation for being a bit of an electrolux genie.

It took me about two weeks to build up the nerve, but eventually the anxiety of seeing the same thing on my to do list every day spiked my anxiety to the point which the only way to properly resolve it was to just get it over with.

Armed with the local phone book and the cordless, I faced my giant.

"hello?" (low, gravelly voice answers)
"Oh. Hello. Mr Sneed?"
"Who's calling?" (low, growly, suspicious voice)
"Well, it's Joyce Hildebrand, and I'm calling sort of on behalf of the thrift shop about an electrolux vacuum?"
"Oh. Yes....?"
"Mr Sneed, are you the electrolux guy?"
pause.
"This is Mrs Sneed. Mr Sneed's wife."

oh.
I'm
so
sorry.

I think maybe I'll buy her a carton of cigarettes and a flat of scotch to make up for my phone blunders. And swear never to condescend to the telephone. Ever. Again.

13 comments:

Pennerfive said...

You and me both, baby.

Wendy Buhler said...

I do that with my in-laws every time! Agh.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I have done that at work all the time (the elderly can be quite ambiguous in tone I find). I have started to say "is this the Sneed household?" (for example). It buys me a little time to guess again and sometimes they say "yes, this is Mrs Sneed". Other times they just say "yes". Then I say who I am and why I am calling and then pause a millisecond to give them opportunity to say "oh, I'll get him/her". When that doesn't get me anywhere, I plunge in with my 50/50 chance of getting it right. I make a lousy gambler. I have even gone so far putting my feet in my mouth by saying "oh, did I just wake you?" or "you must be coming down with a cold" to which often I get a "no". So, you are in good company Joyce. By the way, nice to see your blogging again.
VB

joyce said...

bah, ha- excellent advice, VB.
And I'm so pleased and impressed that you haven't all totally thrown in the towel on this blog. I so miss it. I so wish I could do 12 more hours of stuff every day.

in laws, eh? sexy.

Judy said...

I hate phones.

I love your blog.

Heck, I love you!

joyce said...

"gone so far putting my feet in my mouth by saying "oh, did I just wake you?" or "you must be coming down with a cold" to which often I get a "no"."

just have to say, em, that this makes me laugh out loud in a pathetic, sorry sort of way each time I read it. Even 7 am.

No. I'm not coming down with a cold. I always sound like sh--. Thanks for noticing. Oh- and for caring.. you so-and-so....

Judy- you're what I've missed. How do you keep up with blogging? maybe not having teenagers in sporting events after watching toddlers all day helps? Some day I'm gonna be just like you. xo

Rosa said...

so so funny still giggling

janice said...

Mwa ha ha ha ha!!!

My only brother used to get 'Hello Eleanor?' when he answered the phone and was hugely relieved when he started getting 'Hello Sam?'. (My parents were Sam'n'Eleanor which we shortened to Sam'n'Ella in later years)

My daughter can and HAS sent 8000 texts in a month, but is incapable of making a phone call to anyone except me. I gave up encouraging her to do so and just make calls for her.

joyce said...

I've often gotten; "can I speak to your mother?" to which I always replay; "She doesn't live with us any more". or "I moved away from my mother quite a number of years ago, would you like her number?"

and incidently: when I was pregnant with Sam, my name for a potential girl was Ella. My sister said-- "Oh! Sam'n'ella!"
nice.

janice said...

Aww, you named your baby bump after MY parents. We have a Samantha and two middle names of Eleanor in their grand and great-grand children. But no Sam'n'Ella on one child.

Happy turkey weekend!!

jenn said...

Thanks for the chuckle!

Brenda Funk said...

I have a habit of just checking blogs once in a while, not every day -- only to find I missed this really good one -- it so expresses how I feel about the phone -- I HATE it, and it can take me a long long time to get around to making some essential phone call. Usually I make Elmer do it, who unlike me, actually seems to quite like chatting on the phone -- he even has patience to spend endless hours negotiating with Rogers etc. Guess that's why I married him. Someone has to do it. Thanks!

joyce said...

Brenda- always so glad to add to my phone hating support group. Brian and I may have occasional spats about who will take on the phone. Especially the nasty calls like wrangling with phone people, or bank people, or making appointments. I have taken on the appt making, as my children DO need help with their teeth.... their eyeballs,... their hair....

But that doesn't mean I have to LIKE it. That just makes me a Great Mom! ha ha