I absolutely hate talking on the phone. Other than when I was a tween/teen, when all bets are off, I’ve hated it my whole life. I suppose it’s a little ironic that I worked as a telemarketer in high school and at least one winter break in college. On the other hand I was usually reading from a script and paying no attention to the “conversation” at all. Ultimately the very sound of the phone ringing just annoys me.
The first time I ever heard of email, I was ecstatic. Email is so forgiving-I can start writing to someone and then stop when I have other distractions, go back and finish it later. I can proof the message, which is really not possible with the phone since I’ve already blurted out something wildly inappropriate. The email era was such a boon for me. But inevitably, cell phones caught on like wildfire and things took a turn for the worse. I hate cells even more than regular phones. For one thing, am I the only person in the world who still can’t hear you now? We can brew a half-caf skinny latte using just an iPhone and a spoon, but we still can’t figure out how to get clear sound on a cell?
I may have missed this on my list of pet peeves, but who doesn’t love a voice mail message that says “Hello there, this is [STATIC], we need to talk as soon as possible. This is in reference to [STATIC]. Call me back at [STATIC].” You can listen to that sucker 100 times and you will never decipher it. A few times at the office someone has left a message that they are out sick and we have no idea who the person is, because we don’t have anyone named [STATIC]. We default to process of elimination and just wait for someone to complain that they can’t find so and so. I guess the most dreaded is if my boss calls from the airport and tells me she needs me to [STATIC] immediately and be certain to follow up with [STATIC] but to absolutely not [STATIC]. Folks, this is how people end up getting fired. Cell-phone related unemployment.
Everyone else in the world seems to be able to hear every word while walking down the street, in shops, elevators, escalators, rest rooms, and who knows where, because absolutely everyone is on the phone. OK, it’s true I can’t walk and talk at the same time, so maybe I just don’t understand the whole thing but what is there to talk about 24/7? I mean what is so critical when you’re standing around Jiffy Lube waiting for your oil change? On the other hand, it’s kind of fun if you’re totally bored. As you may recall, I do indulge in some harmless eavesdropping from time to time, although if you’re on the phone in an elevator with me, I don’t think it even counts as eavesdropping.
I overhear a lot, but I’m guessing my imagination fills in the blanks from time to time. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard:
“ No, I TOTALLY agree, she should be cut out of the will for this little stunt”
“He thought I was going to sleep with him on our first date!”
“I swore I wouldn’t, but I did. Yep, first date. I’m on my way to CVS for the morning after pill”
“Absolutely no snacks for the kids other than the macrobiotic approved foods. And don’t think I haven’t caught on to your tricks—I smelled cookies on their breath the other night!”
“So yeah, her bratty kid bit my little angel. Yep, reported it to the FBI and the PTA”
“Well the gun wasn’t even loaded…I just don’t know how this could have happened. Lemme go-I should probably call 911. Maybe my lawyer first though?”
“Look, she says stalking and I say friendly neighbor, it’s just a little misunderstanding”
Anyway, this has been fun but it sounds like you’re breaking up. I’ll call you when I get to Jiffy Lube.