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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

National Elisa Thinks The Telephone Is An Instrument of The Devil Day

Alternate title: National Elisa Just Realized She’s Outing Herself About One of Her Many Crazy Behaviors Day

Because really, who needs the telephone these days? I’m just as easily accessible via email, or IM, or hell, even by blog, so why call?

For four years, I worked for a telemarketing company. Yes, I started out as a telemarketer, but then I moved my way up the food chain to assistant manager. I lived in a world where a minimum of 60 phones were ringing AT ALL TIMES. When one of our telemarketers had an order that needed verifying they would snap to get my attention, so in addition to the Ringing, there was the Snapping. For YEARS, I could blissfully ignore the sound of a telephone, but turn on a dime in a department store if someone snapped their fingers from three departments over. Admittedly, this has left me a little warped. I no longer pounce on or glare at innocent snappers, but I have a pretty well developed neurosis concerning the telephone. I hate it. If you call me, I probably won’t answer. If you leave me a message, I will probably delete it without listening to the whole thing. When I do check my messages, I listen only long enough to hear who the message is from and then I delete it immediately. Don’t tell me anything important in a voicemail message because I will willfully not listen to it. I will find out you called, delete your message, and then call you back. At some point. Of course, I will have no idea why you called, so you’ll need to tell me.

Part of my neurosis stems from the belief that no good news comes from the telephone. You know who calls me on the telephone? My Other Aunt. When it’s 7am and my phone rings? That means MOA has been up all night and has decided that at 7am ET, I’m probably awake and ready to talk to her. Oh, and she’s not up all night because she’s an insomniac.

You know who else calls on the telephone? Bill collectors. Admittedly, I haven’t received a call from a bill collector in a while, but when the phone rings, I assume it’s one of my creditors calling to harass me, especially if the call comes at dinnertime.

You know who else calls on the telephone? Telemarketers. Of course I realize the irony here. Doesn’t mean I want to talk to any telemarketers. In fact, I’m probably even more hostile than most people when it comes to telemarketers, because I know EXACTLY the type of people I used to hire.

You know who else calls on the telephone? The random family member from my dad’s side of the family who wants to tell me all about the stupid things my father has done recently. Well, you know what? He’s my dad…I already know he does stupid things. It really isn’t a news flash, although it’s great for getting my blood pressure up, thanks.

I know that you’re thinking to yourself that The Person On The Other Side of The Ringing Phone isn’t always one of Those People. But you know what? Not so much. Pretty much all my friends know about my phone phobia at this point. The messages that they leave for me are usually straight to the point, include very few details, but even more often, they don’t call, they send me an email. I relish email. Email makes me Happy. I see a friend’s name pop up as the sender of an email, and I can’t wait to open the email and find out what’s going on with them. The same person’s name pops up on my Called ID and I break out into a cold sweat.

And if the Caller ID shows the number as Restricted, well, you can bet your sweet bippy that call is going to voicemail.

It takes almost every once of willpower I have not to answer the phone “What’s wrong?” instead of “Hello?”

It takes the rest of my willpower not to bury the phone in my t-shirt drawer just so I can pretend I don’t own a phone at all.

Oh, and if I tell you I didn’t get your message because my battery was dead and I didn’t check my messages? I’m lying to you. I compulsively keep the phone on and charged. I just don’t answer it.


  • At 4:10 PM, Blogger Amie said…

    Bravo. My cell phone is in my car at almost all times.

    And you know I adore my husband. Silly man KEEPS calling me when I'm on my way to meet him for dinner. I'll be in the car, in rush hour Baltimore cranky traffic, and he wants to "be considerate and find out what I want to drink". Besides the fact that I only ever get diet coke or decaf coffee, depending on the weather, the fact that he has yet to figure out that EVERY time he calls me, I snap his head off and usually hang up on him, boggles my mind.

  • At 4:52 PM, Blogger Bookish Wendy said…

    Dude, I had so forgotten this. Hearing and reading, this is how I learn. I will NEVER call again.


  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger Lauren said…

    I completely HATE the telephone... I have since I was a kid! I actually used to be really afraid to talk to people on it and a little secret? (I STILL HATE IT!) The only exceptions are Kris and some friends, but why talk on the phone when you can see them, or email? Except for the thong thing, we see eye to eye, missy!
    Gosh, I can't wait to meet you in MAY!! woo hoo!

  • At 9:55 PM, Blogger um said…

    i'm just in a dither b/c you've said "sweet bippy" for two posts now this month.

    *hug* and *snort* (b/c you make me laugh)

  • At 8:51 AM, Blogger melanie said…

    Phone Phobia. Got it. I'm with ya, actually - lately my preferred method of communication is email, and when someone calls me I get all confused, like what's this? A Real Time conversation? ACK.

    Blogger's new comment system takes way too long.

    Yeah, I'll be 21 on Feb 24. 21 + 10.

  • At 10:05 AM, Blogger ErLeCa said…

    Oh, I'm with you on the phone thing, though I usually don't have a problem with people calling me, I always seem to have a problem calling other people... damn phone phobia!!!

  • At 10:25 AM, Blogger Jackie said…

    The phone is simply evil, there's no getting around it. The *only* person I am comfortable talking on the phone with is Eric.

    Your post prompted me to think about why the phone is so terrible (aside from the trauma of being a telemarketer, or having people call that you don't want to talk to... it still doesn't explain why it's not fun to talk to people that we otherwise want to talk to :)

    Anyway, I thought it might have something to do with how difficult it is to talk to someone without all the visual cues that you rely on in a conversation. I think I have a hard time keeping up with the conversation, because I can't see them, and I'm always a 1/2 step behind. Does this make any sense? I think that's the major reason I hate the phone.

    Just a thought.


  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger Gracie said…

    So, can I send you a tellegram?

    I understand the phone phobia. I know when my dad always calls either someone died or I'm in trouble. Never a good sign.

    Have a great Wednesday!

  • At 1:11 PM, Blogger Amie said…

    The phone is so evil that here it is the next day at 1pm, and I wouldn't be surprised to discover that AT&T (by far the most evil of all the phone companies, don't get me started) has read your blog and had you eliminated for speaking the truth...

    I would be saddened. I would be angry. I would not be surprised.


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