Hey, folks, guess who’s back? Back again! The Friday Five’s back! Tell your friends!

Yes, I created a monster ‘cos no one wants to see Amber no more, with her constant whining about the cold, the cold, and OMG, did I mention how much I hate THE COLD? So in a bid to breathe new life into the old blawg, and give a girl who spends all day, every day sitting in a darkened room looking at pictures of shoes on the Internet something to write about, I’m bringing back The Friday Five. And guess what? You can too! Questions come from here, so feel free to take part if you wish. I may do this every Friday, I may do it for a few weeks and then get bored, or I may just do it this once and never mention it again.  You just never know with me, and that’s half the fun, only not really, obviously.

Anyway, on with the show. Here are today’s questions and my “have-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat” answers:

1. Could you live without your phone for 1 week for $500?

Seriously, I could live without my phone forever for $500. In fact, I’d do it for free if it meant never having to talk on the phone again. That’s how much I hate the phone. And although I love my actual phone in a “hey, this is a pretty cool toy” kinda way, I only ever use the alarm on it to wake me up in the mornings and remind me to do things, and the camera to take pictures of my dog. And, OK, of that one time I decided to try out Amy Winehouse-style eyeliner. If I could work out how to blog from it, which I think may be technically possible, I would use it more, but yeah, I’d still take the $500. When can I get it?

2. Whom do you talk to on the phone the most?

Um, probably my mum, who has the distinction (and, dare I say, pleasure) of being the person I call any time strange medical symptoms befall me. I’m trying to cut back on this, though, because I know you wouldn’t think it, but it’s actually not much fun for anyone. I also sometimes call Terry’s answerphone (because his phone is rarely switched on, and when it is he’s normally left it in the car, in someone else’s home, or, on a couple of occasions, in the washing machine) if he’s been away from home for longer than I was expecting and leave him a message saying, “OMG ARE YOU DEAD? ARE YOU? CALL ME IF YOU’RE NOT DEAD!”

3. Whom do you no longer talk to on the phone but wish you still did?

I’ve actually never really been a “phoner”. I was never one of those teenagers who hogged the telephone line all night chatting to her friends, and this was because I didn’t have no friends. No, I’m joking, I did have friends, but for some reason we didn’t really call each other all that much, other than to make specific arrangements about stuff. Maybe if cellphones had been invented back then, things would’ve been different, but of course we had to use smoke signals in those days, which was a total drag.  So, in conclusion, I don’t think there’s anyone I used to phone but still wish I did. This is why we have email, surely?

4. If you could get ahold of one celebrity phone number, whose digits would you want?

Michael Stipe’s. I wouldn’t call him though, because I don’t think he would like that, and I wouldn’t know what to say to him, as I am Not Good On The Phone.  Also, he totally didn’t accept my Facebook friends request, so no phone calls for him. (Do you hear that? It’s the sound of Michael Stipe’s heart breaking…)

5. Do you talk on the phone more or less than you used to?

I think the answer to this is probably self-evident, no? In the early days of The Business, when I used to do a lot of freelance writing, I had to talk on the phone a LOT, because people would call me up and ask things, and then call me again and ask more things, and it was all talky-talky-talk. It was my version of Hell on Earth, although obviously not quite as bad as the call centre I used to work in. (If there is a hell, I’m totally convinced it looks EXACTLY like a call centre, seriously…) Now I’m all about the blogging, people tend to email rather than phone, and while this makes Amber a Very Happy Girl, it has also made me totally lose what little knack I had of using the phone. Which is why I answered the business line a few weeks ago with the words, “Hello! Hot Igloo speaking! Amber!”

OK,  your turn.  If you don’t want to answer in your own blog, feel free to answer in the comments section…

  1. I lasted three days in a call centre. This from the girl who managed to stick two months at a sandpaper factory and three months at a hospital laundry. There’s very little I can’t hack if I’m in need of cash to buy pretty things. Very little defeats me. Except answering the phone.

    Caroline´s last blog post..Goths and ballet

    1. Horrendous, isn’t it? I actually managed to stick it out for years (the money was good and I had a serious designer clothing habit at the time. And I only worked weekends, which I guess made it easier), but it totally changed my perception of the world, and made me start hating people an awful lot more than I had before. I was basically being paid to be verbally abused 8 hours per day, and it gets to point where they just can’t pay you enough to put up with that!

  2. OMG Michael Stipes would be my celeb phone no too!!

    I #heart# my phone, any phone really. I spend allllll day on the phone in work, and then spend all evening talking to my sister who lives a teeny 10 houses away from my house! But if bt give you free evening and weekend calls…….

    I have a phone buddy too, whom I’ve never even met before, but we phone each other every day in work, and talk for sometimes 1hr. Hes so funny, we just get on so well, its like it would spoil it if we were to meet up and speak to each other!

    I actually had no phone for a couple of days once. And it was disturbing how quiet the whole place seemed, by there just simply being no phone, it wouldn’t have sounded so quiet had there been a phone. It is unexplainable really.

    Maybe I talk too much, and thats why I love my phone….?

    1. Really, you would have Stipey, too?! Ha, that’s so cool 🙂

      I think it definitely makes a difference if you’re a “talker”! I make much more sense in writing than I do when I speak, which is probably why I blog for a living and avoid the phone at all costs!

  3. With you 100%. Paul and I regularly argue about who has to make phone calls, particularly to takeaways where not only is there the general horror of The Phone but also people with little English and really thick accents.

    The sooner this here world goes over to never needing to talk to someone and just communicating totally by email, the better.

    Toni´s last blog post..It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day…

    1. Oh, totally: email is just so much easier, and actually more productive for me, because I get right to the point with it, whereas on the phone I normally end up going back and forth for ages, and then hanging up only to realise that I’ve totally forgotten to mention something vitally important. Phones: hate ’em.

      1. If you record yourself reciting a verse of that song, in your natural accent, I will recommend your blog to twenty (20) people next year.

  4. Oh, I am exactly the same. I hate the phone. Haaaate. I wonder if it’s something rather primitive about my brain, that it can’t handle the concept of hearing someone’s voice but not seeing them… ‘A magic box with voices inside? What is this devilry!?’ I actually refuse to answer the phone during the day, on the basis that they’ll probably ring back in the evening, and then my dad will have to deal with them 🙂 Hate.

    1. Could you live without your phone for 1 week for $500?

    Yes. Yes I could. The biggest problem with mobile phones is that now people can get hold of you wherever you are – and they take that as meaning they have the right to talk to you, wherever, whenever. And then you get angry voice mail, saying ‘Why aren’t you answering your phooone? I’ve been ringing all day!’ I’m BUSY! Go away!

    2. Whom do you talk to on the phone the most?

    I think the only person I phone, full stop, is my sister and we talk for hours. She never replies to emails, so nabbing her on the phone is the only way. I communicate with everyone else by email. Or sometimes face-to-face. But I’d do away with face-to-face contact as well, if I could. I can’t do conversations 🙁

    3. Whom do you no longer talk to on the phone but wish you still did?

    No-one, really. I’ve spent my entire life trying to avoid talking to people on the phone…

    4. If you could get ahold of one celebrity phone number, whose digits would you want?

    Charlie Brooker. Because he will be mine. Even if I have to talk on the phone, and I explode from the pressure to make interesting phone chat. Which is likely.

    5. Do you talk on the phone more or less than you used to?

    Less. Thank goodness for the increasing popularity of text messaging and email, eh?

    I’m afraid I’ve probably come across as a misanthropic nutter, haven’t I?

    1. Haha, well, if you’re a misanthropic nutter, I’m one too! We should totally start a club – although one in which we do not phone each other, obviously 🙂

      Particularly agree with your answer to number 1. It always puzzles me when someone tells me they tried me at home first before phoning my mobile about something totally non-urgent. It’s like, surely the fact that I didn’t answer my home phone told you that I was OUT? Doing stuff. Possibly driving, or with people or something. In other words, not available to chat on the phone!

      I also really hate it when you’re with someone and they answer their phone and talk to the person on the other end for ages (unless it’s an emergency or something vitally important, obviously), leaving you sitting there staring into space. The height of bad manners!

  5. With you all the way on this one.
    Me no like phones. You wouldn’t have to pay, just take it away, I’m always trying to lose it as it is.
    I much prefer the anonymity of email and the likes.

  6. I don’t reaqlly like the phone, but having said that, ran through two separate phones’ batteries this morning, which was just extraordinarily busy.

    But sometimes a phone call can round off an exchange of e-mails nicely – particularly a topic which has been going round and round.

    And confession ‘Postsecret’ style ….. I sometimes deliberately leave my mobile in the house when I go out.

    david´s last blog post..Tracey Emin – Retrospective – Edinburgh

  7. Answers 1-3 are what I would have written. So similar that it was a bit frightening to read, actually.
    Although… my phone is an iPhone, and I play with it all the time. But I choose to interpret the question as the capability to connect with another person remotely using the spoken word. And I could live without that forever. I could even live without some in-person spoken exchanges (clerks, strangers, receptionists, etc.). But if it comes down to the actual device, if I had to give up my iPhone my computer and an iPod would do the trick.

    Also, please don’t ever decide to go all peppy and only write about cheerful wonderful things in your blog. I enjoy the little rants. I hate it when people write only about positive things and edit out the negative, it’s unnatural.

    1. Yes, I like my phone too, but I guess a digital camera and alarm clock could fulfill the functions I use it for, and my laptop is definitely my *favourite* toy!

      Thanks for the comment about the peppiness – I feel like that too about blogs, but the deafening silence that always meets the rants etc always makes me think that people just hate reading them…

  8. When I worked retail, I used to look at my watch just before I answered the phone, then answer with “Good morning, Stationery Box [Store location], Nickoli Speaking” or “Good afternoon…” etc. as appropriate

    When the phone rang once and I looked at my watch to find it showed noon exactly, I was paralysed and couldn’t cope without my fixed opening line.

    I also got the store location wrong a few times.

    1. Haha, yes, I recognise that kind of scenario from my days in the call centre. I got to the point where I'd regularly answer our home phone with, "Good morning, thank you for calling <company name>, Amber speaking, how may I help you?"

    1. When our phone rings I literally jump in fright sometimes: I'll be concentrating hard on whatever I'm doing, and that shrill ring will make me spill me coffee. Reasons to hate phones, I has 'em!

  9. Wow, so many people hating phones! I too hate them, and avoid answering them as much as possible. Especially as a drunk old friend of my partners keeps calling up (just for a chat, you know) then drones on and on, and I usually end up having to turn off neighbours or whatever mind enhancing television series I’m currently engaged in. So annoying!

  10. Hehe, I hate talking on the phone, too. We have a shows going on PBS over here in the US called "Spain on the Road Again" with Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman and Claudia Bassols. They surprised Gwyneth by picking up Michael Stipe on the side of the road. I was mad because he's never on the side of the road anywhere I drive. 🙁

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