I hate answering the phone. I’m serious. If given the choice of being in seclusion for a week or only being able to talk to people on the phone for a week, I’d take seclusion without hesitation. I’m not sure what it is about the sound of a ringing phone, but it gets to me. On my cell, I only answer calls from numbers I know. If I’m receiving a call from an unknown number or one not in my contacts, I always let it go to voicemail.
If it’s important, they’ll leave a message.
That is the mantra I repeat to myself on a daily basis. Sometimes I’ll even ignore a call from my mom. (Sorry, Mama!) I just really need to be in the right state mentally to talk on the phone. I know, I know. It is absolutely bizarre. But what can I say, that’s just how I am.
Unfortunately, one of the many tasks I have under my umbrella as Community Manager for my company is answering the phone. So you know how excited I am about that. All day I’m trying to work and get my tasks done and that stupid piece of technology just keeps ringing. The worst part? None of the calls matter! It’s not just that the calls aren’t for me (they aren’t), but they really don’t matter. They’re all sales calls and recruiters. The people the calls are actually for don’t even want to take them! So all day I have to answer the phone, feign interest for their sales pitch, then say we aren’t interested. Thrilling, I know.
So you can imagine how impatient I get when the phone starts ringing. What do I want to do? Answer the phone with a huge sigh. They’re interrupting my day! My life is important, too! But then I thought about how that must feel to the person on the other end. They probably don’t enjoy calling people all day and it must be really disheartening to hear that people are annoyed before they even begin talking.
Using all my will power, I try to put on a smile before I answer the phone. I try to be cheery and sound happy. It’s hard. Believe me, it is so hard. But I know it isn’t the person on the end of the line’s fault that I hate the phone. They don’t know that! How could they?
Sometimes choosing to be nice isn’t face to face. Sometime you can Choose To Be Nice by not taking your negative feelings out on people who don’t deserve them. I tell myself this every time I go to answer the phone now.
Elaina, Choose To Be Nice! Pick up the phone with a smile.
It’s dorky, I know. But I like to tell myself that it makes a difference to the person on the other end. Does that mean I’m going to lead them on and humor all their requests? No… I still have to politely tell them that the company is not interested, but at least I know that I chose to be nice instead of taking out my aggravation and that makes all the difference.