Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Real Talk Tuesday...

   Today I want to talk about phone calls. I'm not even sure where to start but I think its something that a lot of people don't understand about me. I really don't like making or receiving phone calls, if its an unknown number or if I don't know the person I'm calling. For a couple of very personal reasons the phone ringing, and me not expecting it, sets off one of my anxiety triggers. It has taken me a while to realize this but it takes me back quite a few years ago to a time when I was really struggling financially and almost every time the phone rang there was a bill collector on the other end. In that same time frame I had taken a second job to try and recover from my financial troubles and wouldn't you know that second job ended up being a receptionist at an animal shelter. Well, I'm not sure how many of you know this but probably 90 percent of people who call or come into a shelter, are not inquiring about an animals to adopt. In fact its quite the opposite!  They either have a box of kittens they say were left at their house (which I rarely ever believed), or they were calling because they had a dog who they couldn't (or should I say they didn't want to take the time to train properly, or they hadn't done their research on the breeds characteristics), or they were moving, or having a baby or whatever the excuse of the hour was. The job also required me to return phone calls that were left on the answering machine during hours that the shelter was not open. So majority of my time there at that job was spent just dreading that door opening, or the phone ringing, or even having to make a phone call because I never knew what craziness I was going to be facing at any given moment. Because of the policies at that shelter it wasn't like I could just accept every animal that was being brought in. There was quite a protocol that had to be followed and if it wasn't followed then I'd get into a lot of trouble. So that was very stressful for me.
   My main, full time, job I was working in retail. So, I was dealing with customers (and answering the phone on occasion) for at least 6 of the 8 hours that I was there. So, for the few hours I was home at night I REALLY didn't want to see or hear another human being. When the phone would ring I knew it was most likely a bill collector anyhow so I'd let the answering machine get it. If it was a friend I'd sometimes call them back right away and other times I'd just put it off, because I just wanted my alone time. Needless to say, this became a very bad habit. When I was home that my down time, away from humans. I did not want bothered. I lived alone with the exception of my animals, of course, and down here on this dead end road there was little traffic so t was the perfect escape.
   So that was like 11 or 12 years ago, so what is my problem with phone calls now?? Well, lest see. It could be the fact that I have small children and every time I am on the phone one or both of them think they need to be in my face asking or telling me something in the loudest voice possible. Or, maybe its that if the kids aren't making a fuss, I'm trying to get dinner ready, or its chore time, or maybe by this time its homework time, or possibly its bath, story time and bed time....
  Are any of you noticing that phone calls are just not normally fun for me? If you call me and leave a message and I respond back by sending you an email or private message on Facebook, instead of of an actual phone call - PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL. It has NOTHING to do with you, honest! Email and messaging are just easier for me most of the time. I might not always have a chance to call someone at the moment I think of it, but I may have a few seconds to send out a quick post and you can respond when it is convenient for you.
   Recently I had someone ridicule me and say that I was hiding behind messaging instead of calling and dealing with an issue over the phone. That wasn't the case at all. I really did want to address the issue with him but my daily schedule doesn't always work out so I have a spare half hour or so that it would have taken to resolve what he was confronting me on and quite frankly I felt the 'issue' he wanted to talk to me about wasn't my problem to begin with, so no I was not going to take time out of my day to make a phone call about something that I didn't want involved in.
   So, please, if you call someone and they don't return your call immediately or they send you a message in another form, try to be a little understanding. Its probably nothing personal against you.

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