Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hold the Phone

I am not a phone person.

I was the girl who when I babysat would call my mom and ask her to call Papa John's and order pizza for the kids. I was the sibling who ran away from the phone when it rang rather than run towards it. The first time I called my now boyfriend I tried to find a way to leave a voicemail without his cell phone ringing. (It didn't work.)

On my first day of my first internship my new boss told me I had to called 150 women and schedule make-overs for them. I was terrified. I sat in my cubicle and talked as quietly as I could but that's hard when you have a high-pitched phone voice like mine. My usual alto voice shoots right up to a high soprano when I'm on the phone with someone I don't know. I hate it but I don't know how to stop it.

That project and sitting in a very open office have helped me with my phone fear but that doesn't mean I enjoy the phone. Especially at the office.

I am an email person. An email, instant message, text-message person. When my guy boss says "WG1, call so-and-so about that promotion," I email so-and-so about that promotion. I'm all about the email. But he is more about the phone call. Sometimes I think his mentality is that a phone call will make whatever needs to happen, happen faster. In today's world, I think an email is more efficient.

It may be a difference is working generations or just a personal preference. Either way, I'm sticking to email.

45 comments:

Akirah said...

I HATE making phone calls. I have to make 20 phone calls between now and Thursday and I am dreading it. A lot of times, I wait until my coworker in the cubicle next to mine has a meeting and isn't around. I don't know why, but I get so nervous talking on the phone in front of people!

The New Black said...

I am the same way! I even prefer to use online chat support insted of just calling tech support on the phone.

I know that part of me likes to have documentation of conversations, but part of me just doesn't like to talk on the phone.

Madame Lefty said...

I have the same phone fear too. I hate calling strangers. I always feel so ridiculous talking to someone I don't know.

You've really made my day, confessing this to the masses. We're not alone. =)

Email, all the way!

sharongracepjs said...

I share your phone anxiety, but I think you're more in track with how business happens. Usually when I call someone about work stuff, they say, "Yeah, totally, send me an email with the details." Or they open with, "Oh,ok did you email me about that?"

Down with the phone!

Erin said...

I couldn't agree more. E-mail is sooooooo much more efficient!

I am now THE person who answers the phone at work...when I don't silence the ringer and let it go to voicemail ;-) I can't explain it - I just HATE talking on the phone!

And I still make my husband phone for pizza.

Hazel said...

my boss, who is about 40 years old, says that his generation and our generation have a difference in how we communicate with others. our generation is all about email and texting, older generations are about making phone calls.

i agree that sometimes calling can get a quicker or more clear response, but email is less awkward and you have time to sort your thoughts.

i'm also planning on sticking to email.

Danielle said...

I am completely in the same boat! I HATE talking on the phone. Doesn't help that one of my main current duties is answering the phone (ugh!)
I prefer email (or IM, or text, or smoke signals...) over phone any day!

alyssa said...

I have always been like that as well. However, I am having to help answer the phones now at work (multi-tasker much?), and it's like torture. I agree that e-mail seems to get faster responses nowadays, actually, 75% of the time I call someone I get voice mail and they take at least a day or two, if ever, to call back. E-mails always get responded to within a few hours. Whenever I am asked to call someone or "call information to get number" I will email the person if I have their address, and google that number! :)

MO said...

UGH, now that sucks...I'm with ya on that one as well...hate phone convo's, much rather do via email ANY day!! But, you are getting paid for this, so it there's your incentive right there!

pocket full of pink said...

The theme of your blog cracks me up! I love it!

Brittany said...

I am 100% the same way! I hate picking up the phone to make a call, I would much rather email. I always sound like a fumbling idiot on the phone, but when I write an email I actually come off sound half intelligent! lol

adorablybitter said...

I prefer e-mails to, but that is probably because I am not a fan of confronting people. And that is what you often have to do when calling people at my job. My argument is, of course, that with e-mails there is always a proof you've asked something/sent something etc.

However, at least in my field, e-mails are often ignored and people only react to phone calls. So, I usually send a mail first and then call to confirm. Complicated, I know, but the only way to get things moving.

Natalie said...

I think it is a generation thing. I'm the youngest in my office and I get flack for emailing instead of calling. My argument is that I want conversations documented. I want to know exactly what I said and when I said it (and vice versa!) Phone calls don't allow for this.

Cookie said...

Oh lord, I'm the exact same way. My boss handed me a list of about 10 people to call. I have to call them about why they haven't paid for a program yet. Ugghhhh.

Raychelle said...

I'm an email gal too. I can talk over the phone if I need to but it's a last resort.

Nicole said...

I'm with you on that one! I cannot stand making phone calls but my boss is always asking me to call random people and ask for even more random things. If I had a choice I would definitely send an email or text message. It's nice to know that I'm not the only working girl that's not a fan of the ole' faithful telephone.

Vampy Varnish said...

I am SO with you! I absolutely abhor the telephone. I never, ever answer it at home or at work for that matter. I let people leave me voicemails and then I email them back.

Suz said...

Me too! Boo for phone calls in a cubicle...it should be banned. Email is so much easier!

Ashley said...

I am SO not a phone person either. It's terrible, but I text more than anything. Luckily for me my BF lives one a few minutes from me so I can drive to see him if I need to talk.

S. said...

Yes! I feel the same way.

Miss Type-A said...

OMG! I am the SAME WAY and it drives my boyfriend nuts because I refuse to call to order take out/call somewhere to find out there hours/call to find out information, etc. Before I came to law school I worked as a receptionist in a law office and it was really really hard for me to have to make and answer calls all day.

emaura15 said...

I hate talking on the phone. I'm just no good at it! It was rough time of my life when I was working on a political campaign and had to cold call constituents for 6 hours a day. Ugh. Glad that's over.

Jackie said...

Ughhh I hate the phone too!

In college, my roommate used to call and make my hair appointments (we used the same hairdresser) and she would call whenever we wanted food, a cab, etc. and she would jokingly call herself my assistant. I'm getting better, but still dread making calls.

Raya said...

Email is so the way to go.
I just get nervous when I make a phone call, I seriously have to plan out what I'm going to say beforehand (maybe even write it down!). I know its totally irrational. Talking on the phone infront of people is even worse!!
I guess its just less confrontational with emailing. More neutral, less awkward silence.

howunremarkable said...

Agreed! I think part of the reason I prefer email is because I can refer to it later so I don't forget whatever information was exchanged. If I'm at all nervous on the phone, I tend to forget to ask key questions, or I can't remember the answers exactly. It's definitely a perk for me to be able to look over the conversation later.

And I agree with the commenter above--online chat support is the way to go.

Single Girl Al said...

I hate the phone too! And especially if I have to use the phone in front of others. It makes me so nervous. I don't even call my boyfriend..we text. I am just not myself on the phone.

Classy in Philadelphia said...

This is so me! At my internship, I would have mini panic attacks about using the damn phone. I use e-mail for everything!

TEFIMELON said...

I AGREE WITH AKIRAH! I HATE MAKING PHONE CALLS!!!!!!

hollylynn said...

yeah...i'm fine with phone, but i think in business, email can be so much better because everything is documented. even when i call people, i send them a follow-up email to make sure we all have our bases covered. so i'm kind of with you. i think email is more efficient.

smalltown_girl said...

Working Girls, you took Labels off the sidebar on your blog! You should put it back on, it makes it easier to find posts.

Caitlin said...

While I don't hate making phone calls, I'm definitely more of an email person and I have had debates with my boss over it. I find email is more efficient, and it's way easier to have everything documented. I'm constantly going through old emails to see what client said this or what vendor said that, and it's easier than taking notes on every phone call.

And I'm terrible at leaving smooth voicemails, ha.

Lisa said...

First of all, I love your blog. I can relate to just about everything you girls write about. Secondly, I am absolutely terrified of the phone too! I am always worried I am going to call someone and interupt something important. Email really is a more efficient way of communicating.

Transplant said...

I'm an email girl too!! I work for a non-profit though...so we've resulted to calling, showing up at people's houses and crawling across the floor on our knees and begging people to give money so I'm getting better about the whole phone thing!

MY said...

I just don't get it. Almost EVERYONE who commented says they hate the phone. Whats the big deal? They are just human beings on the other end!

E said...

I agree email is the way to go! At an old job I had someone try to say that I had gave them permission to do something I hadn't ~ because I had the email I was able to prove them wrong! So yeah I'm an email girl :)

Lauren said...

Weird. I am in the same generation as you, but phone calls go SO MUCH FARTHER than e-mail. They are more efficient - what will take 7 e-mails can be 3 minutes on the phone. And people that are scary on e-mail, turn out to be super nice and helpful when you have them on the line. Be patient - but break your fear. It will be well worth it in the long run.

in your window as you fight said...

Email is SOOO much better. It lets me keep track of whether I have responded to a request at work. There is nothing I hate more than playing phone tag with people just so that they can send me an email with the information I require to do my job. If you can find my phone number, you should be able to find my email! Plus, I am about 10 times faster responding to an email request than to a phone call anyday!

kacijohanna said...

I'm right there with you. I don't know what it is, but maybe it's something to do with... yeah, I don't know. I just hate the phone.

carsisa said...

This post made me chuckle, for I have never heard anyone confess to phone fear. However good for you to know yourself, that is so important.

Recently I rebelled against the impersonal-ness of email and started picking up the phone again.

Although if a lot of details need to be communicated I always choose an electronic form of communication.

minneapoliscareergirl said...

I think it's definitely a 20-something thing to not like to phone call, but let me tell you, if you want to really succeed in business, a phone call can go a long way...especially if you're working with older generations.

For me, I try to make calls as much as possible. If I leave a message, I immediately follow-up with an email. My responses are generally faster and friendlier this way. People really feel the personal touch.

Miss Cellaneous said...

I feel the same way! I have always been better at expressing myself through the written word rather than speaking (I can make myself sound smarter, maybe?). . . I am the type of person that has to write down what I plan on saying to the person on the phone - even if I'm just ordering pizza! I have to write out a little script of what to say when I call people so that I'm less nervous. . . Email is much preferred!

Anonymous said...

i HATE talking on the phone. I make everyone else order pizza and friends call people for me

Allie @ Fabyuhluhs said...

ahaha. This reminds me of the time I snuck in to my supervisor's office while he was on lunch break just so I wouldn't have to record my voicemail message in my cubicle where everyone could hear. I suck it up for the job, but I definitely breath a ridiculous sigh of relief when I dial VM and I get "You have no new messages".

Miss Danna said...

I'm a secretary in a law firm and I feel the EXACT same way. ESPECIALLY when I have to call clients because they actually MATTER! Ahhhh. I feel like it might be a generational thing, we just prefer e-mail!!!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

i hate phonecalls, from everyone. yes, including significant others, loved ones, customers, bosses, falalalafum.

please email, text or IM me, or leave a comment in my blog, mum T_T (joking. i wish my mum knows how to use any of those)