Ring, ring, why don’t you answer the phone?

Do you answer your personal (not work) smartphone when it rings randomly/unexpectedly?

Do you answer your home landline phone, if you still have one?

I read an article some time ago that many people today prefer not to answer the phone. Not only that, they do not check voicemail either.

The article coined a phrase: phone call anxiety (or something like that).

Is this a thing?

I understand that in some cases phone calls are easier and quicker to handle certain things. I also get that in some cases, phone calls have been replaced by video calls. You’re still talking, but this time you’re looking at a person on a screen rather than just listening to their voice.

I’m not a fan of phone calls, which has less to do with my hearing loss and more to do with the fact that at one time, I worked for a company whose phone calls would bounce back to my work station if the receptionist was already on a call.

The calls never stopped coming. The four of us in the back working on scheduling, producing training records, issuing and collecting invoices and associated jobs barely got our own responsibilities accomplished due to the many calls that were coming in. At that time, email was just getting more popular, and it, too, starting building.

But it was the phone calls that interrupted our every task.

Frankly, about 75% of the incoming calls didn’t require someone of my/our expertise and skill to respond to them. They paid us a salary to get x and y accomplished, not to give a pilot in town for training directions to the nearest sushi bar. Or to respond to the many, many technical questions of the courses we delivered (we were a simulator training company for pilots) which would have been addressed by their instructors in class or the simulator. Or to help field inquires that weren’t part of the scope of our knowledge base. Or to argue with us why their airline needed 16 more pilots in class next month even though they had outstanding and unpaid invoices for the previous 16…

We asked for students who wanted part-time jobs to come in and help with fielding the calls. They hire one. Once the student arrived, the middle managers snagged her and she was assigned other duties which took her away from the phone part of that time and so, the phone calls kept coming to us.

There was no relief.

I think I developed an allergic reaction to the incessant ringing of the phone from that place.

Anyway, today, I rarely, if ever, answer the phone. I make exceptions at times, but mostly, I prefer texting/email or in-person chats. Sometimes a video call might happen, especially lately with covid. I’ve had teachers meetings and medical appointments over zoom et al, as we all have, but it’s not really my preferred way of communicating either.

I’m ready to head out to the coffee shops and meet my friends. Or have lunch with someone on a patio or in a restaurant. But that’s not going to happen for a long while, which means we’re stuck with the electronics.

I’m not against the electronics, I’m just saying, wouldn’t it be nice to switch it up at times? Have a chat on text and then go out and meet in person?

Anyway, my partner insists on keeping the landline. As does my mom. So no matter where I hang my hat, the phone rings.

And rings and rings and rings. ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s ok. As long as I’m not the one who has to answer it, I don’t care.

As far as voicemail is concerned, I don’t check the landline, and I canceled the on my phone.

Your turn. Tell me your phone (horror) stories.

See you in the comments.

29 thoughts on “Ring, ring, why don’t you answer the phone?

  1. I feel like having a smartphone contributes to more ringing vs a landline. The reason being is the constant accessibility most of us have to the former.
    Considering I’ve had a lot of jobs that require constant customer service, I prefer talking on the phone in spurts as opposed to my high school days where I could easily be on the phone with my friends or a potential crush for at least an hour every day…I’m damn near talked out by the time my workday is over! Texting is great, but not for conversations that result in misunderstandings and epic texts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I might actually be one of the few people who doesn’t like video calls. I prefer texts or a traditional call because my tone will say “I’m interested in what you’re saying” but my facial expression is “I could care less, please go away”.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I used to be a phonaholic. I would spend hours on the phone talking to friends. Now I rarely ever talk on the phone. I prefer text these days. The only people i talk to are doctors, the vet, dentist’s or if my car is being worked on. Although, lately a close friend has been serving time in prison..I admit I really enjoy the 15 minute phone calls I get with him. I think I gave up the phone because I would constantly call people and no one would ever pick up or return the call. Sometimes out of the blue friends do call, but very rarely. I miss telemarketer calls, I used to enjoy giving them “the business” lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I recently made the mistake of signing up for some insurance quotes online. Within minutes my phone started ringing with solicitations. I didnโ€™t answer it. For the next week the calls kept coming and I didnโ€™t answer them either. I do feel some anxiety from the calls. Even though Iโ€™m the one that signed up for insurance quotes I really donโ€™t want have to deal with it – at least not one to one. I much prefer the impersonal media of email when it comes to business calls.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I never answer the landline at home because I know it won’t be for me.

    I don’t like phone calls in general, not least because they demand my immediate attention. I much prefers text or email.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Phone calls in a house full of kids is never for the dads…๐Ÿ™ƒ

      How are you hanging in? We just got our lockdown extended another month to May 20. I alternate between crying and rage. I’m very worried about my kids, and my own mental health, tbh. There is civil unrest brewing now and for the usually calm and rational Canadian public, that says a lot. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not sure I can even imagine a horde of angry Canadians ๐Ÿ˜‰

        We’re not doing too badly at the moment. The so-called Easter Pause is coming to an end which means that the kids are all back at school on Monday, and in a week’s time shops can start opening normally again.

        On the downside, the vaccination schedule is slowing down because supplies are starting to run out. Hopefully, things will get back on track by May.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Landline…what’s a landline? Yes, it’s been that long, although I do have to use a desk phone at work because I am located deep within the hospital and my cell gets zero service. I rarely answer my cell at all, unless it’s one of my kids. I screen calls from everyone else on my contacts list and let the call go to voicemail most of the time. I’ve very much become a text person, favoring that by far. There is no huge amount of joy for me in talking on the phone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t answer my cell unless it’s a daughter or a medical provider.

    I spent 15 years working at a call center. The Emergency Road Service department of the Auto Club Of Southern California… aka AAA. I was a supervisor when I had to stop working. All the complaints from angry members about their cars, or the delays or complaints from the tow truck drivers or company managers or owners… plus years of people needing service before that… yeah… I don’t like to talk on the phone.

    No landline. No point with everyone having a cellphone.

    Liked by 2 people

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