Saturday, May 8, 2010

Don't Talk to Me

Ladies, how do you feel about making and taking personal calls from your desk phone? I've always had the weirdest, weirdest issue with it.

Mainly, I can't do it. Well, now I work from home, so it's not a problem for me anymore (that would just be really weird), but when I used to work in an office, I had this unexplainable phobia of talking to anyone who wasn't a co-worker or somehow otherwise work-related.

I could never talk to my husband, for example. I totally laid down the law about him calling me at work unless he absolutely had to. When we did talk at work, OMG, it would make me feel so uncomfortable, my voice would change and get all quiet, like I was pretending I wasn't actually talking to him and that he was just another co-worker or not even that, like a stranger! The worst was when he would say "I love you" before hanging up, and I'd just be like, "Yeah, um, OK bye."

Or, if I needed to schedule an appointment somewhere, like at the salon or at the dentist, I didn't feel comfortable doing it at my desk. Instead, I would write the number on a post-it note and then go outside to make the call on my cell phone. Isn't that so lame of me?

I don't know why this was on my mind, but I was just thinking this was a really strange pet peeve (of my own doing) that is office-related and I wanted to get your opinions. So I'm wondering, is anyone else weird about personal calls at work or is it just me? My previous co-workers seemed to think nothing of it. They'd carry on conversations with just about anyone and couldn't care less that we all could hear every single word. Cubes aren't exactly sound proof. And you can't help listening in, you know?

Maybe that's why. Maybe I was too embarrassed to have people eavesdropping on my personal conversations. I also felt like phone conversations at work should be kept to work-related stuff. Personal calls should be taken outside or during your lunch break. I know that sounds Nazi of me, but that's just the standard (if you can call it that) I held for myself. I didn't really care that much when other people had personal calls at work.

Thoughts, anyone, about "office phone etiquette"?

21 comments:

Kerri said...

I was the exact.same.way. I practically whispered anytime my husband (or, occasionally, my mom) called the office. It just felt so awkward to me. Of course, we had a big, open office with very little privacy so people most likely WERE eavesdropping-- it wasn't just my overactive imagination.

Now that I'm not working anymore (I'm a stay-at-home mom currently), all of that seems very silly to me. There's nothing wrong with a quick 2 minute personal phone call at your desk, as long as it doesn't become a regular part of your day.

closetblogger said...

I am exactly the same! I rarely gave out my work number to any friends or family and if anyone ever did call me there, the conversation on my end would consist almost entirely of one worded responses. Maybe it's weird but I just think that professional and personal lives need to be seperated.

P.S I love reading this blog.

Mrs. Dontje said...

i like your style. cube walls are too thin and if i had to hear about the lives of the people around me, i'd dieeee. and i don't think there's such a thing as eavesdropping when you're all that close in proximity. :)))

Cindy said...

I do the same exact thing. In my office, we don't have cubicles. It's all open, and I share chair space with one of my coworkers. Most people in the office don't get personal calls on their office phone, but almost all take or make personal calls on their cell phones throughout the day. My "chair space"-mate will occasionally skype with his wife and baby daughter, too. It's just not something I feel awkward about, and I don't know why! If I see someone is calling my cell phone, I let it go to voicemail and answer it later. And if I have to make a call (over lunch) I go to the back room where no one can hear me. So either you're not weird since you're not alone, or maybe we're all a little strange...

angeline said...

I don't answer the phone at work. If someone needs to reach me they can text or email (since it all goes to my cell instantly anyway).

In our office, we have a small quiet room in the hall where people can go to take phone calls (when nothing is scheduled there), but most people walk into the stairwell (which is doored off) or outside for personal calls.

The dude next to me sometimes talks to his mother (who lives in France) in French, but still goes outside to take the call so we don't have to suffer. Yay for etiquette!

Sun Soak said...

I'm not usually a fan of taking personal calls at work unless it's an emergency or so. What really grinds my gears is when my co-workers take and make calls on their cel phones.

if it's my lunch break however, I don't mind making calls, but I try to keep them under 5 minutes. I don't need to air my laundry in front of the work place.

tris1978ton said...

Yes, you are so right. People DO eavesdrop. I am also uncomfortable taking personal phone calls at work.

Derky said...

Haha dont mean to laugh but that was soo me. It seems unprofessional in my opinion and I always feel "the man" lol is watching. I worked in a call center for a cable company so our phone never stopped ringing. I do however recall one time a girl called my phone that didnt like me and was trying to start an argument with me. I'll admit i loss my cool for a second then i politely excused myself to the break room to really tell her what i thought of her lol. Lucky for me my job was foolish and didnt put any blocks on the internet so i didnt need a phone when i was on myspace/facebook all the time!

ps. btw im from 20sb you jux requested to be my friend what a lovely blog you have =D !!

janjan said...

I don't have any qualms about personal calls at the office as long as it isn't too frequent and doesn't take too long. after all, everybody does it, so why worry. :)

Susan said...

You just described me. And what makes it worse for me now is wedding planning, when you have to make more personal calls during the day. I have been sneaking off to conference rooms on my lunch breaks. But the post it note trick? I've done that so many times.

LaNeshe said...

At my job no one has full walls, so everyone can hear everyone's conversations. I have a hard time making business calls when everyone can hear, so I really get sketchy with personal calls.

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

Ew I'm mixed on this one. I really try NOT to do personal calls at my desk but sometimes it's just inevitable. BUT I will only do quick, easy calls like refilling prescriptions, calling the doctor, etc. I don't like doing it but honestly, I don't always have time to break away right now so it has to still get done. But anything that is really private I will take outside or into an office. As long as you're not on the phone for more than 2-3 minutes for a personal call, I think it's okay. I at least multitask while I do it. But family calling at work unless it's an emergency is a big no no.

What Sabah Thinks! said...

Same Here..I share the same Phobia. I cant even talk on my personal cell phone when I am around colleagues. So what if I am out for lunch with them. And the weirdest is, when I am in an elevator with many people.. I just cant talk openly.

nmah said...

I am the same.....when at work I take all personal calls on my mobile and step out to talk....it just feels odd knowing that everyone can hear your personal conversations...I love this blog and have been inspired to start one myself, so please come along and visit mine.

Ali said...

It literally feels like you took the words out of my mouth! I am exactly the same. I told my family and boyfriend not to call me at work unless they absolutely had to, and I also go out into the hallway to make personal calls (like an appointment). So many people in my office are open on the phone, sometimes even putting it on speaker. I always thought I was alone in the way I felt - glad to know I'm not!

The worst was when I had to conduct a phone interview at work two weeks ago. I wrote about it on my blog... it was nuts! I mean, seriously, how does someone do that, living in New York City, where no place is quiet?!

Brittany said...

I am the same way. I hate it. I will make hair appointments or something on my lunch break, but I always feel ridiculous. If it's a personal call I will go outside. I just can't do it.

Sassy Molassy said...

Yeah, I'm like you. I rarely do personal business at my desk. Occasionally, I'll schedule a haircut or call to see when someone is open, but otherwise I take my cell phone outside to make or pick up a personal call. I've heard too many coworkers' annoying conversations with their kids, spouses, etc to follow suit.

secretz01 said...

OMG... I am the same way at work, I'll do the Post-it note and the outside phone call even in the rain. I used to actually go to my car and make calls from there! I'm not sure why I do this, I work in tight quarters and I guess I don't want people listening or taking notice of me making personal calls!

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