Driving home from kinder drop-off this morning, I mentally went through the things I had to do today, and three of them were phone calls. I felt my face almost physically cringe.
I hate talking on it. Except when I don’t, which is rare. I’m not a caller, by nature. I’m not a fan of answering the phone. If it rings and I’m not in the right headspace to communicate – ashamedly, dear reader, I will press “decline”. And perhaps call you back later. Maybe.
I used to be very shy and now I’m just mildly shy (which you can read all about here in “my most excruciating embarrassing moment“, you’re welcome), so maybe that had something do do with my telecommunication aversion. To begin with, now I think it’s just laziness.
There was a good deal of the 90s I spent glued to that angular, standard issue Telecom bad boy up there (I remember the day it changed to Telstra, I was traumatised), getting home from school and straight away calling people I’d seen all day anyway. I used to phone my dad every Sunday night with a pre-paid phone card he’d organised and we’d joke about how one day there’d be omg video phones and we could actually see each other when we spoke. A great deal of the conversations I tried to have with boys during that time is better off forgotten, or the aforementioned physical cringe really will cross my aged visage. I used to wish we had that mega-long phone cord they had on Roseanne. Or maybe I could just move in with them.
I’m going to spend the rest of the day watching my box set of her sarcastic brilliance.
Right after I make these phone calls.
The crux of the phone phobia came in the first hour of the first day of a job trial at the local newspaper. I was one of two fresh-faced second-year journalism students hoping our stint that week might eventuate into a “real job”. My tasks were two stories that day – and first cab off the rank was speaking to a young ballerina competing in an international competition. There were no spare desks available for this extreme rookie except for the one directly in front of the assistant editor and the chief of staff.
I had to make my first interview phone call in front and in full listening distance of the two people who would decide my fate. This wasn’t fair! The other girl got some other desk a safe distance away, all she had to deal with was the bored and patronising glares of “proper” journalists, I had to perform, dammit! And I hated the phone. I hated people hearing me talk on the phone. I briefly wondered if I could take my notes outside and use my own mobile so I could stumble through my first professional interview in peace.
I soon realised how crazy that sounded, remembered I was badass, threw caution to the wind, insert a couple of other cliches, and picked up that phone like it weren’t no thang. I was going to have to get used to speaking on the phone within earshot of the entire newsroom if I was ever going to survive. Besides, listening to everyone else’s calls was great entertainment.
OH MY GOD I’VE JUST FOUND THAT ARTICLE ONLINE! I die. What a n00b.
I don’t know what it is that makes me want to walk in the opposite direction of any ringing phone, nor put off a simple call to change the name on a booking for like, three days. I’m a grown-ass woman, for god’s sake. Phone calls used to be the only way you could get shit done.
Now, if you could assist in my phone call procrastination a little longer and tell me: do you hate talking on the phone? Is it a thing? Tell me it’s a thing.