Saturday, April 23, 2011

A - Z Challenge: Telephone

My Dad  worked for the telephone company until he retired.  My Grampy did, too.   You would think that I'd have a better relationship with the telephone.   For me, it will never take the place of a good sit-down natter over a cup of tea.


I was a telephone-using teenager - remember the hours we all spent on the phone?  Our home had a private line by then and there no impatient neighbors picking up the phone and yelling at us to get off.   Sometimes we didn't even talk, we'd be listening to one of our radios turned up loud so we could each hear our favorite song.  Yeah, I definitely used the phone a lot.

Now, I'm uncomfortable talking on the phone for more than five minutes.  Once email entered my life, I abandoned the telephone as a communication device.  I know that it's sometimes difficult to get the feeling of your conversation with email but I sure like it better than the telephone.  I can do it any time.  This is a great help to brains on the senior side of 50.  I don't need to remember a bit of gossip until I see someone - I can share it right now.  At 2 am even.  In my jammies.

If you call me on the telephone, I'm taken by surprise.  Not always pleasantly.  Cue the telemarketers.  Is there any body of workers who are considered as loathsome?  I do  know they're just doing this to pay the bills but somehow that doesn't help.  And, having to have a real-time conversation can be dangerous when dealing with my volunteer colleagues.  I find it's best to have everything in writing.  Others find that that 'snap decision' telephone conversation is the best way for them to operate.  Most of my snap decisions are wrong - guess I'm a slow thinker. 

So, I prefer not to answer the telephone.  There's a perfectly good answering machine - albeit with the funny pre-recorded message that came with the phone because I'm too lazy/challenged to make another. I know that many people can't stand a ringing phone and must instantly answer it.  Not me.

A while ago, you all heard about my adventures with the iPhone4 and it's subsequent return-to-dealer episode.  That was another T-word (time) throwing a spanner (very low-tech) in the works - not the telephone itself.  Typically, I haven't managed to activate either one of the two free cell phones that are sitting on my desk at the moment.   I love the techno-toys but I think they're better when oriented to writing.



In an interesting twist, my Dad also preferred email when he got the hang of it. The telephone was his emergency lifeline where help was only a speed dial away.  And, for me, too.

7 comments:

the writing pad said...

I agree about the phone - I used to love it but now I far prefer to deal with people (especially customers) by email - I find I can think through quotes and proposals better in my own time (I am also approaching the senior side of fifty ...) Enjoyed your T post!

Joanna said...

I've never been happy talking on the phone--even as a teenager. For me a phone is purely for business when I need a response right away...and even then I often default to email. I have some friends who "visit" on the phone but they've learned not to call me to chat. With them it's getting together or email or nothing. Still it's a useful thing at times. I'm glad we have them, but don't get me started on telemarketers!.

Ginny said...

Well I must say this is certainly a different take on things, kind of flipped around from the way I think of them, but you make some really interesting points. I used to be a telephone operator and ran a three position switchboard at a busy hospital. My church job is running the prayer and information hotline from my home, so I get calls at all hours. So I have always kind of loved phones. You can hear the inflection of people's voices. You can pray with them over the phone. But I am a very slow thinker and e-mail gives me time to do that, along with message machines. The phone demands, e-mail waits.

Rudee said...

I never used to feel that way about the phone, but now I do. The best time for me came when I got my work blackberry. No more calls from the answering service, but instead an email with the message, the number and all the pertinent data one could ask for. It's perfect. Now if I can just train the service to stop emailing messages for the wrong side of town. I always get my calls, and my colleague's, too. Ugh.

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Mimi said...

Oh, you brought me down memory lane re talking on the phone as a teenager! I loved the phone then. Being in boarding school, we used to spend hours on the phone, mainly to boyfriends, though we occasionaly rang operators just for someone to talk to! What a waste of public funds!
Now, I don't like the phone much, I'm with you re email, especially as it can be done, as you say, at any hour.
And, since I got the hang of ignoring the ringing phone, I find it rings less and less! Hope I never regret that!

Angie said...

I like to keep in touch every-which-way! Landline phone, mobile (may need a new one),Skype, email etc. Just think, I wouldn't have met you all if it wasn't for the Internet!!! I had a long talk with a telemarketer when I pretended to be a 6 yr old relaying messages to my mum - in the end I felt sorry for him - he was only doing a job. I love to hear the voice of friends & family. You have one very slow typer here!!!

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