Friday, September 17, 2010

What's Your Number Son?

Okay, I'm really scraping the bottom of Glenn Beck's shoe today for material to write about, and before you say I'm a Glenn Beck hater or lover, I'm neither. I simply haven't formed any kind of an opinion about him one way or the other....wait, yes I have, but this post ain't about Glenn Beck.

Because of the meaty swerve I did for Wednesday's post, I didn't have anything really scheduled for today (note, I started writing this at 5:57p EST soon to be EDT). The original plan was to take a short vaca until Saturday, but as you can see, I'm still here.


While I was driving into work today sans radio (I'm slowly driving my car into the ground and I don't feel like spending gobs of money to get my radio-that-dumps-the-rear-speakers-into-the-front fixed) I got to thinking about a topic to bloviate about (yeah, we're just full of FoxNews phrases today. I like Fox, I'm a FB fan of Fox, so sue me), and by the time I pulled into the parking lot, I came up with topic and a basic outline.

Background dump about the title: back when I was in high skool (1979-83), we had a gym teacher who took attendance of his 30+ student class by asking, "What's your number?" (we had numbers next to our names in the attendance book). The "son" part is from various Warner Brother Cartoons I've seen over the decades.

In spite of the fact that I talk on the phone on a daily basis, I've grown to dislike talking on the telephone. I know it sounds extremely weird, especially for the rare few of you out there who have heard the sound of my voice (note, according to a friend from Indiana, I have the thickest Yankee accent she's ever heard), but for the past couple of years, talking on the telephone has become like injecting myself with my twice daily shots of insulin.

Now before you start saying, "G? What's up with dat?", let me just explain a little bit about why I feel the way I do about telephones.

First of all, I developed a singularly distinctive business phone manner that can be summed up as "Gag with me spoon and let me take out those hip waders." Now I know everyone here can probably get the gist of what that phrase is, but in case that you don't, here is the definition: I can come off super sweet and pile the mule fritters until they're waist high.

Within that singularly distinctive business phone manner, I developed three sub phone manners as well:

1} The phone manner that is used for fellow employees I don't know/don't care about, which is way different from the loins that gave birth to these phone manners. Whereas I don't really care about offending people from the real world, offending fellow employees who can create a world of grief for me that would take weeks/months to recover from is a major NO-NO. 'Nuff said.

2} The phone manner that is used for fellow employees I do payroll for. For the most part, the people I deal with on daily/weekly basis I treat like how I wanted to be treated, which is with respect and courtesy. So my manner is probably what you call "business casual": professional, but casual enough so that you can connect with someone on personal level.

3} The phone manner that is used for fellow employees that I really like. And then there are those people in which I talk to on a daily/weekly basis that I've gotten to know to way beyond the point of work place friendships. You know how you talk to those people, you talk to them just like family or close friends, which sometimes can cause problems if someone happens to walk by and hears your end of the conversation, and not knowing what its about, winds up making a complaint about your phone manner.

Anyways, back to my intolerance of the telephone. I have gotten to the point in my life to where I have an absolute zero tolerance for people who are 1) stupid, 2) just don't get it no matter how many times you explain it, and 3) jump down my throat for something that they did wrong.

This zero tolerance has raised its ugly head in one of two forms: escalating the tone of my voice the further along I go in the conversation, or sharpening my tone because I don't want to speak to you. To be honest with you, I've grown increasingly hostile over the years about talking on the phone for work.


While I was writing this post, I discovered that I've severely veered off my intended highway of travel by taking the scenic route down a local state road. As I really want to get back to my intended highway of travel, I must bring this post to a temporary stop. I will conclude this post about telephones a week from today, and hopefully, it will all make sense in the end, because as it stands, it sure as hell doesn't make sense to me, and I wrote the damn thing.

One more thing I should mention: just like one can lose track of time while writing, so can one lose track of time writing a blog post. I stated at the beginning what time it was when I started, I can now honestly state that I finished typing the last words of this post exactly 57 minutes later, at 6:54p EST soon to be EDT.


  1. Very interesting topic Georgie. I have always disliked talking on the phone. I dislike being one of many, on a list, being dialed. I hate surveys. I have no time for last minute political statements. I am not going to donate any money over a phone call to any organization. My best friend may be taking a long boring drive but I'm not her entertainment while she drives. Gee, this could almost be a good blog post for me too. :)Bea

  2. I've never liked talking on the phone. I actually don't care taht much for talking in person. I can go days without saying a word outloud unless others are around.

  3. Under almost all circumstances, I hate talking on the phone!

  4. LOL G! This was entirely relevant to me based on our conversation about different phone manners :)

  5. I think of a Yankee as having a boston accent.

  6. Bea: I'm very intolerant of any kind of telemarketing phone calls at home, to the point of threating to call the Dept of Consumer Protection on them. Right now, talking on the phone at work is preferable to e-mail, only in the sense that I get into less trouble on the phone than I do with e-mail.

    Charles: Makes it kind of hard to teach, don't it? :D

    I'm somewhat torn between enjoying the phone silence (which means I'm doing my job right) and not enjoying the phone silence (which means I'm doing my job right). However, when it comes to other forms of communications, I've learned that less is more.

    Mama Z: Under most circumstances, I don't like talking on the phone either. But that's something to look forward to in the second part of this.

    R: I do have one other type of work related phone manners, but that's more like the conversations that you and I have had in the past and I do that with about five particular individuals at my job.

  7. Bearman: Honestly, I probably would think the same thing as well.

  8. I'm a girl from the Bronx originally. However, when I worked in law offices (way back when), I would put on my super professional phone voice. Once I hung up the phone, Bronx Kelly was quite evident. It was funny when clients would come in and overhear my normal accent. They would say, "Is that the same girl?"

  9. Kelly: I'm about the same way. When I have to talk, people get one of the four phone manners, but once I get off the phone, I'm back to my adorable marbly cotton-mouth self.


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