The Telephone

  What can I say except I absolutely dread using it.  It started a few years ago when a coworker in a salon bullied me into answering the phones all the time.  We were in a salon and the others would let it ring through for messages.  This coworker hated the fact a real person was not answering the phone.  I was new with few clients but with a huge hearing loss. 

  Answering the phone is one way to get clientele.  I used to sit by the phones to be sure to get it.  These last few years it became difficult for me to get names and numbers for the appointment book.  I would have to repeats sometimes 3 times and I would still get it wrong.  It felt very unprofessional for me to answer the phone.  I was embarrassed and sometimes the person on the end would become impatient and angry which never helped the situation.  Other times I would have to hand the phone off to someone else entirely anyway because I understood almost nothing.

  My coworker was a very sweet person and also a very busy one.  She had a lot of clients and packed them in.   It was difficult for her to answer the phone and hated letting it ring through.  It was a busy salon so the phone rang often.  She kept answering it and would fall behind.  She started working on me saying things like it’s hard for her to understand the person on the phone also or my hearing isn’t as bad as I think it is.

  She meant well but I started dreading going to work.  I hated being there.  I started experiencing anxiety like never before.  I tried compensating for others having to answer the phone by taking care of towels instead; washing them, putting them in the dryer, folding them and putting them away. Still I felt horrible guilt every time the phone rang and my co-workers constant comments gave me an extreme dislike of the phone like never before.

  I quit that job partly because of that and also because when it was busy there I could not hear the person in my chair.  It was a beautiful place but the acoustics were a nightmare.  It was modern with little on the walls, high ceilings and a rock wall in the shampoo area which my station was near.  I had no problems with any of the girls I worked with except for the issue of the phone with the one girl. 

  Today I had to use the phone.  I put this off for almost a month but I had report a fender bender to my insurance company.  Talking to people who use microphones are the worst.  I started out using my web captel but in the middle of the session it disappeared.  Depending on the internet connection the captions can get behind too.  I explained to the guy I was hard of hearing and I would pause now and then to let the captions catch up.  He was very good.  He spoke a little slower and more clearly even moving his microphone closer.  He would repeat with patience.  The phone call was not all that I dreaded it to be. 

  It went so well as a matter of fact that I called another place of business to get some information.  It was a quick call but I dreaded it less.   It went well also.  There was one other place I could have called to conclude some business but chickened out.   It’s not far from house so I drove there instead.  Good thing too because a woman was at the desk and I would have had a harder time understanding her.  Because my credit card was needed I didn’t want to involve a third-party (the relay service).

   I wish I could take the dread out of the phone but it will never be easy for me again.  There are very few people I talk to on the phone.  My mom, my boyfriend, my sister and one girlfriend.  I hear my mom and boyfriend the best.  My sister and girlfriend have enough patience for repeats as needed and good sense of humor.

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2 responses to “The Telephone

  1. i have to syke myself up to use the phone..but its getting better cuz my new captel phone is way better then my old one. …

  2. I put off using the phone as long as possible. Then I will do other little things around the house to put it off a little longer. When I have to use the phone I try to make sure the house is as quiet as possible too. I use web captel but the captions can be slow in coming. No land line here so I can’t get the newest version.

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