Friday Five concerns telephones this week, a subject with which I am all too familiar!
1. Do you like talking on the phone? Why or why not?
I used to, until I got a job at a catalog call center and spent anywhere from 8-11 hours a day doing customer service and doing supervisor calls. I liked the phone work, but it killed my desire to talk much on the phone in my spare time. I like to talk about something, not just talk. Small talk just kills me sometimes.
2. Who is the last person you talked to on the phone?
My hubby, when he called from work to say hi.
3. About how many telephones do you have at home?
Six, not counting two cellphones. Pretty much everywhere except the bathroom.
4. Have you encountered anyone who has really bad phone manners? What happened?
All the time! I’ve been on both sides of it, monitoring my employees’ phone calls at the above-mentioned call center, and taking calls from customers. Some of the manners I heard were appalling! With the employees, I had a chance to tell them their strengths and weaknesses regarding the phones. With rude customers? Well, I had to bite my tongue and try not to let them get me riled up. Sometimes I didn’t keep a cool head, but most of the time I did. Life-preserving measures? Making shooting gestures toward my temple and contorting my face ludicrous expressions. Many of us did this. It was code, like the universal choking sign!
5. Would you rather pick up the phone and call someone or write them an e-mail or a letter? Why or why not?
It depends on what information it is I want to convey or glean. To be honest — given the information I’ve supplied above it’s not surprising — I would usually rather write. I am far better at written communication than oral. Also, what is begun as a quick phone call sometimes ends up being a marathon. I also see great value in having the written word (even e-mail). Though tone can be difficult to read sometimes, at least it is there in front of you for posterity’s sake and you are not just remembering bits and pieces of what was said.