Let me preface this post with the following:
- Credit for the word “rantling” goes to Jeff at JSV Experimental. It’s not quite a full-grown rant… just a rantling.
- This post is an actual email I sent… names have been removed to protect the guilty.
Now… onto the post!
“As a general rule, outside of work, I rarely talk on the phone. I believe this is due to the fact that my Mom didn’t care to talk on the phone outside of the office either. The phone calls I got were frequently only filled with bad news… someone died, etc., and I grew to thoroughly dislike the phone. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but I digress.
I don’t really care to talk on the phone at work, but I do. There are customers who call and can’t seem to just spit out what it is they’re trying to say. It’s torture to have to hold the phone to my ear and not just say, “Spit it out already!”
Then there are the ones who don’t listen to the voicemail you left them, instead calling back and saying, “You called?” “Yes… I did. I left you a voicemail, too, which if you’d have bothered listening to it, you would know that you didn’t need to call me, but call so-and-so instead.” Or, what I’ve had to deal with this morning… Mr. X.
Mr. X is a bloviated narcissist who drones on incessantly about absolutely nothing of any importance. Not that Mr. X isn’t sometimes a nice guy… but again, I digress. Today, I had a one-sided – his side – conversation with Mr. X where I once again found myself on the receiving end of an endless commentary about absolutely nothing. I responded, “Mm hmm” and “Yep” at various intervals, the whole while, in my head, however, I was yelling, “Can you PLEASE get to the fucking POINT!” (Ooo… I kind of sound like Swedgin! Heng Dai!). Where was I? Yes… my eyes glazed over and hitting my head against the desk repeatedly was starting to sound infinitely more enjoyable than continuing the conversation (albeit one-sided).
Mr. X continued to chatter mindlessly… well, to be fair, I was the mindless one at this point, my brain blocking out whatever he was uttering as the voice in my head was saying, “The point? Is there one? How long do I have to pretend I’m listening before I fib and say, ‘I have to go, another call is coming in’? Could you please finish up… any time now. Any…. if I drop the phone on the desk will he take the hint?”
Somewhere in there, I think he finished up his dissertation and was waiting for another response from me, which I gave as, “Okay…” After all, I’d stopped listening and didn’t know if he’d actually concluded and I’d missed the whole point of the call entirely because the detour he took to GET to the point was like driving through Nebraska (my apologies to Nebraska)… long stretches of endless grassland and nothing.
Incidentally – I’d prefer driving through Nebraska than talking to Mr. X on the phone.
Hmm… this would make a great blog post.”
And as you can see… I turned it into a blog post.
Arrrgggghhhhh!!! I HATE it when people don’t listen to their voice mail as well. I also hate it when they LEAVE a voice mail saying “call me”. No shit Sherlock, I got that. Tell me why I should. Is this something I want to talk about. Most of all though, like you said, a follow up call might be unnecessary if you listen to or leave a fairly detailed message. At the very least I might be able to have information I need for the call I’m about to make instead of saying “I’ll have to check on that and call you back”. Again.
Yes, the annoyance level surpasses even that of not knowing how to END a phone conversation…