I feel like this is such a random post, but I only really thought of it because we got new phones at work last week. The campus was put on a new phone system, and it began rolling out spring or so of last year. My building was one of the last ones to get the new phones, so everyone who had a new phone that called us showed up as an external phone call—and with the old phones, there was no caller ID for external calls.
For someone like me, that freaks me out. There’s no way I’m going to blindly pick up a phone call, whether it’s at work or on my cell phone. If I don’t know the number, I don’t answer.
I think what it really boils down to is that I hate talking on the phone. And it’s not just because I’m a millennial or whatever excuse people are griping about when it comes to young people and phones. If possible, I’d 100% rather have someone email me or text me. (Unless you’re my mom, and it’s just sometimes easier to call her.)
BUT, there are reasons why I don’t like talking on the phone and would rather interact via written communication:
- On the phone, even if you know the person, you don’t know what their reason for the call is. (I mean, for the most part, unless you know so-and-so is calling you about X.) With email, you can read it all at once and understand what they’re asking/talking about before giving your response.
- Zero nonverbal cues. I hated doing phone interviews while I was on my job search. I always felt so awkward if there were pauses and would ramble, even though the person was probably just jotting down my answers. You always end up in the “No, you go”/”No, you go”/then sit in silence battle. Or just a lot of dead air. I mean, there are also no nonverbal cues in emails, but at least there are emojis/emoticons?
- I’m just so awkward on the phone. Half the time I have to write down what I need to say to the person because I feel like you have to get everything out in one breath once the person on the other end answers. (That’s at least the case for me when I call the doctor’s. If I call people at work, I say “Hi [insert name here]! It’s Becky from Marketing, how are you?” and then go from there. I picked that up from my old job when I used to have to call clients.)
- Calling new people is the worst. I’d much rather email someone I’ve never met before than call them. I can get all of my thoughts down in a email and make sure it makes sense instead of trying to introduce myself via phone call.
Granted, at my old job, because I worked with a bunch of clients, I had to get used to calling them. And I put on my big girl pants and did it. But that doesn’t mean I enjoyed it. I think that’s helped me, though, at my current job. It’s nice that I already knew some of the people my department reguarly interacts with, so it wasn’t weird for me to call or email them. There’s a handful of people that I don’t mind calling at all; but if someone isn’t on that list and especially if I’ve never met them before, you can bet they’re getting an email from me.
And I like email because I’m not bad at it. I always try to be good about responding. I don’t let anything go longer than a day, and if I can’t do something right away, I’ll at least let the person know, “Hey, I’ll look into this and get back to you with what I find/what we can do for you!” (It’s a pet peeve of mine when people are horrible with email because I think I’m pretty good about managing mine.)
So moral of the story: don’t call me. (But at least I have caller ID on my work phone now for internal and external calls.) Or don’t make me call you. At least I’ve kind of managed to get better at calling and making doctor appointments.
Thoughts on phones and phone calls? Do you have to use the phone at your work? Would you rather communicate via phone or email/text?