Thursday, January 19, 2006

Phone Phobia

I have a fear of phones. I hate to hear them ring. Part of it has to do with the jobs I've had in the past. I've worked my share of receptionist jobs. I've said, "Thank you for calling _____. This is Nikki, how may I help you," so many times that it makes me sick thinking about it. More than once, I've come home from work and answered the house phone with: "Thank you for calling--Oops!"

One time I worked as a switchboard operator. My gosh! I got so tired of having to be "overly" friendly. I got so tired of taking messages and forwarding calls. I got so tired of hearing, "I don't want to leave a voicemail, can't I just leave a message with you." Heck, no! My gosh, people! I'm only one person, for-crying-out-loud. Give me a break.

Even when I got jobs that had nothing to do with receptionist work, I still got sucked into it.

"Hey, Nikki. We need someone to relieve the receptionist for lunch."

At my last job, we had a receptionist, but she refused to stay her butt put. She was too busy setting up damn office parties and stuff. Everytime I looked up she was out of her seat, and one of us had to pick up the phone.

I hate phones.

Now, let's do the math. I live in a house with 4 other people. We have two house phones that ring all day, and each individual (except for Isom) has his or her own cellphone. That's a total of 6 friggin' phones ringing at any given moment (and sometimes at the same time). Crazy!

I recently told Kathy (remember my lovely therapist) that I hate to hear the phone ring. I told her how it causes me such an anxiety attack that I no longer keep my cellphone ringer on, and I totally ignore our house phone. After much probing, Kathy was also able to get me to reveal that I'm afraid to pickup phones because I'm afraid that the person on the other end is going to ask me for something that I can't or don't want to deliver.

It's rare that a person will call me and I'll pickup the phone (especially since the ringer is set to off). I feel much better checking my voicemail throughout the day. Kathy says that tactic has been a great coping mechanism for me. But she also challenged me to just be plain HONEST with the people who call me.

Okay, Kathy, I'll take that advice.

So here it is. To all my dear friends and family members:

I HATE PHONES. I HATE THE SOUND OF A RINGING PHONE. I hate the fact that in 2006 there are WAAAAAY too many ways for people to contact each other: house phone, cellphone, text message, instant messaging, e-mail, regular mail... It's just too overwhelming!

Phew! Okay.

But on the other hand, once I'm past my anxiety, I love a good phonecall. I love hearing from my wacked-out friends, and listening to what crazy things they're up to. I love receiving phonecalls when the person on the other end has good news. I love being able to console a dear friend after she's had a rough day. I love calling my brother at work and plucking his last nerve. I love hearing what new wedding drama Thembi has going on.

Maybe I'll come up with a new invention--something without ringers and loud noises.

Just maybe.

Until then, I'll keep checking my voicemail and hoping that my fears don't lead me to miss out on something great (Man, I'd hate for Crystal to call and say she'd had last minute tickets to a concert, but that my phone went straight to voicemail and nobody picked up the house phone.)

Anywho, yes, Gia, I found you and Wally on the website (Click here to find Gia & Wallace on their honeymoon). You were wearing this really spiffy hat and Wallace had a nice cold beer in his hand. It looked as if you guys were having a ball. As a matter-of-fact, I'd like to put up a few pics of my own in honor of you newlyweds. Hold on a minute....

Man, we had a good time.

I'll chat with you all later. And remember, you 9-to-5er's, it's Friday!

And continue to spread the word, I'm loving hearing from the new people you guys have sent to my site.