You know what I hate? The phone. I am phone phobic to the extreme: when it rings, I seriously want to run away and hide, because I HATE TALKING TO PEOPLE ON THE PHONE. I think it’s something to do with not being very bright: I find it well nigh impossible to speak/listen and think at the same time, so I always come across like a halfwit on the phone, and that’s not an image I really like to cultivate y’know?

People will insist on calling me, though, so what can you do? I mean, other than buying a whistle and blowing it really hard down the line at them so they get the message and USE EMAIL, obviously. Email, people. Just use it already. See how easy and non-intrusive it is! See the pretty words appear on the screen! How clever it is! How totally fabby! How much of a lifesaver for someone like me who HATES THE FREAKING PHONE. God. *

You know what I hate even more than I hate the phone, though? Impatient people. I know, this is ironic because I? Am the most impatient person in the world. In. The. World. But even I am not as impatient as some of the people who mis-use the phone, and, specifically, who use the phone to call me and ask me if I’ve received the email they sent me, and, if so, why I haven’t replied to it yet?

Seriously, why do people do this? Is it just to give you a heads-up that they’re going to be totally awkward people to work with? Because they invariably are. I mean, there’s a pretty good chance that the person who sends me an email and then phones me not long afterwards to ask why I haven’t replied to it will not be able to contain themselves during the time it takes me to actually complete the thing they want me to do. They’ll be the ones on the phone every thirty minutes going, “Is it finished? Well, is it finished NOW? Are we nearly there yet, dad?” Gah.

The thing is, I get a LOT of emails every day. Seriously, loads.  I get so many emails I had to stop Outlook send/receiving automatically because it was stopping me getting anything done. And while some of them are just trying to sell me viagra, or to inform me that “You’ve received a postcard from a family member! Open it to release a trojan horse into your system!”, a lot of them are work-related, and will require a little bit of thought to answer. I CANNOT  reply to them all simultaneously. I CANNOT  even reply to  them all instantly, dashing off a response the very second the email arrives. If I were to reply instantly to every email I receive in a day, I wouldn’t actually have time to work. I’d probably write some really nonsensical emails, too. (Not that I don’t already, but, you know…)

Some people, though? Some people just cannot understand that I WORK. For lots of clients, not just you. And while yes, I know you are very special, I am not able to just drop everything else I’m trying to juggle here, just so that you can get an instant response to your email. So, you know, stop doing that, OK?

Also: people who call me and say, “Yes, I need you to write a bunch of articles for me. I don’t know how long I need them to be, or what they will be about, but I need them, like tomorrow, how much will that cost me?” Stop doing that, too.

That is all.

* Obviously, if something is urgent, phone calls are acceptable. But things so rarely are urgent that really, use email.

  1. Ooh, I hate that too – people worry, but sometimes it strikes me as rude. I worry about one person who uses a very dodgy ISP that dumps mail without telling any of us, and at the same time she has a habit of not replying even when she does get the emails. If I get a response ages later saying she had family over, I count myself lucky. I never know which it is, and try very hard not to say anything while I’m waiting – but I still hate being asked myself. :-).

  2. Diddums, I have to admit it annoys me too when people don’t respond, but sometimes people are just ridiculous. I’ve just had a client on the phone this morning asking why I haven’t yet replied to the email he sent me thirty minutes ago (!), and a few weeks ago I had someone email me at about 11pm on a Sunday night and then phone on 9.30am on Monday morning wondering why I hadn’t replied. It’s as if they think I’m some kind of super email-answering machine who has absolutely nothing else to do other than hover over her keyboard waiting for emails to come in, and then replying to them within seconds. Gah.

    Jen – so glad it’s not just me 🙂

    Stephen – am breathing sloooowllly…

  3. God.Finally.I absolutely hate answering the phone too-or any kind of active interaction with People,actually,I’m not fussy.
    I just found this quote that says it all: “I’m not anti-social-the society’s just anti-me”! Hee.(Do I get points for the rhyme?)

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