It’s only useful if a call ends in pizza
My husband says I put on ‘a voice’ when I pick up the phone. Apparently, I sound like a posh secretary. My habit, no doubt, stems from the need to answer business calls in a professional tone. You never know when the ring of the telephone stems from a potential customer, or Aunt Ethel wanting recipe advice.
The result is I talk to everyone, for the first few seconds at least, with a royal air (somewhat like the queen).
I am English after all.
Despite secretly admiring BBC English — that’s the perfect accent of British newsreaders in 1950 — I’m a little uncomfortable with my practice. It’s just not hip.
Neither is the word “hip.”
Of late, I’ve met several cold callers, and I can’t figure out what they want until they’ve jumped on me (metaphorically) and drowned me in babble.
It’s clear many of them read scripts, and they won’t stop until they’ve finished even if I speak over them.
I have reservations about people who ring me to sell me their wares. Occasionally, though, I imagine their job is hard and am kind.
At other times, however, if I must deal with the same caller several days running and I’ve asked him to stop, I have fun. I pretend I’m ordering pizza and ask for extra pineapple and cheese topping. I figure the phone calls will stop if I seem mad, or I might get a pizza.
Either way, I win.
Calls from family and friends used to pelt me during the day. That was when I began to freelance from home. Most of them went like this:
“No. It’s not… It’s not actually a good time to call. Yes. I’m working. No. It’s not my coffee break. Can you ring back later?”
“Be tough,” I told myself. “Or you’ll get no work done.”
I developed a strict no calls rule between specific hours and informed folks.
It took two years to train everyone. After four though, the calls began again.
“I’m just calling you early, before you start work,” they’d say, even though I began an hour ago. Or “I’m ringing now so I don’t disturb you later.”
Back to square one. Well, not quite. There’s a slight improvement. No one rings in the middle of the day when I eat lunch.
Now and then my husband phones me too. From downstairs. He thinks it’s funny to ask for cups of tea (remember, we’re British) or inquire where he might find his socks.
I hang up, but I can hear him laugh in the background; he amuses himself.
A while ago, I went through a stage of not answering the phone in the day.
“How can you ignore the phone ringing?” Friends asked.
“It’s easy,” I said. “You don’t pick it up.”
It’s important to note, I find, I am not a slave to the telephone. It’s supposed to be useful. I reserve my right to refuse calls when I want and live in hope of an unexpected pizza delivery.
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