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unpleasant phone calls

I have two unpleasant phone calls to make this evening. It should first be noted that I have a certain undefinable difficulty making personal phone calls. I can make business calls without a problem, but talking to a person who knows me and expects something of me--I just freeze up and tend to find reasons to procrastinate or avoid it and then time passes and I feel worse for not having returned the call promptly... It's especially bad with gregarious friends for whom a phone call basically means that you love them, so if you don't call them (but you love them, you know this), then they are offended by the silence and the friendship disintegrates. You can only apologize so many times for not returning their call when you see them next, and it is pointless to try to explain that you have a strong aversion to talking on the phone because using the phone is the easiest and most enjoyable experience for them. They call people when they're bored. When you're bored, you go find a book to read...

Email, on the other hand, is easy and fun for you, but they either a) check their email sporadically, so as a communication medium with them it's next to useless, or b) think that email is too "impersonal" and would much prefer a phone call.

Impersonal? You can convey a great DEAL of nuance with text!


and spacing.

But these are also the sorts of people who think that an email message is one humongous paragraph and wouldn't know formatting if it showed up and buffed their nails.

Okay, I'm being a little bit too caustic. Neither of these people are airheads--they're just comfortable where I am not, and vice versa.

The first uncomfortable phone call is most likely one in which a bad situation will be detailed (for the second time) and a solution for it required of me, since I am tangentially responsible for the caretaking of certain arrangements.

The second uncomfortable phone call is to a friend who I cannot formally invite to our wedding because there is a limited budget for the reception. This same friend invited me to her wedding last year, so I feel like a wretch. I have not called her since this decision was arrived at (how do you call up someone that you talk to only sporadically and say, "Hello? How's life going? You aren't being formally invited to my wedding.") I am afraid that my friend will take this very badly and we won't be friends, really, any longer. She wrote me an email not-so-subtly reproaching me for not contacting her more frequently and asking for specific where/when details about the wedding. I wrote her an email, relieved to have delivered the bad news via such an easy medium.

The message got bounced back, because her mailbox is full. So now I have to call her...screwing up my courage...

Praying for courage...

Just praying. :)


In far more pleasant news: my fiance is successfully off to Scotland for the week for a conference, he called me from D.C. because he's wonderful and I never expected him to, and I baked three dozen chocolate chip cookies this evening! :)

Comments

Hmmm, I'm the opposite: business calls terrify me. I dunno why. They feel like exams, like going into an exam for which one has not prepared.

Friends-calls, on the other hand, are fun. For me. Why not for you? You say, they feel more... demanding? Question: what is the difference for you, between a phone call and a face-to-face conversation? Is it a particular subset of friends you find hard to talk to on the phone, or all your friends? How does that compare with how often you see them face to face?
I mean, obviously you don't have a problem with being called by your fiance...

My fiance is like you. It works out well for us: he makes the friend-calls, I make the business calls. :)

I don't know what it is. If I knew, it wouldn't be a scary mystery to me.

What usually happens is that I'm scared of the first phone call, and once I make it and it goes far better than my unformed fears had said it would be, I am invigorated and want to call anyone that comes to mind! :)

re phone calls

that sounds like me until i get to the comfort zone level where i can talk to a specific person for ages on the phone
but then i grow out of it if we grow apart

and don't ask me what i'm doing online...i should be cleaning i know...but i needed something....
I only like talking to certain people. Others I have no use for or would rather see in person.

/me knocks you down and rummages through your pockets for loose chips

I WANT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES BLOODY HELL!
guess what!

i have access to chocolate chip cookies....
they call me!