Phone Phobia

According to Wikipedia, “Telephone phobia (telephonophobia, telephobia) is reluctance or fear of making or taking phone calls, literally, "fear of telephone". Sufferers typically report fear that they would fail to respond appropriately in a telephone conversation, and fear finding nothing to say, which would end in embarrassing silence, stammering, or stuttering. The associated avoidance behavior includes asking others (e.g. relatives at home) to take their phone calls and exclusive use of answering machines. As a result, the sufferers avoid many activities, such as scheduling events or clarifying information.”

Yeah, this is me to a T. And it’s a problem.

Here I am, 23 years old, and I hate making phone calls to anyone except Mr. A and my parents. I love my brother, but he mumbles and has such a deep voice that I can barely tell what he’s saying. I don’t mind talking to my MIL, but I then get awkward with how to get off the phone. And it’s just weird on my part.

But calling the insurance company to find out which doctor’s office I can see now that we’ve moved? My hands start sweating. When I was job searching and maybe had to call about something? Heart would race. Ordering a pizza over the phone if they didn’t have online ordering? I just beg and whine until Mr. A does it. Or, if heaven forbid I’m home alone, I would write out EXACTLY what I wanted so I could just recite it and none of this on-the-spot thinking.

It’s terrible!

Remember my Stranger Danger post? I think it stems from that. I’ve never liked to talk to people I don’t know.

If someone calls and I don’t know the number, I ignore it and let it go to voicemail. Even if it’s someone I do know, but maybe don’t talk to them much or can’t think why they would be calling me, I let it go to voicemail.

This drives my husband absolutely nuts. He gets so mad when I ignore phone calls, especially the ones that I don’t know the number. It would really infuriate him when I was job searching because he said I could be missing a job opportunity. Little did he know, I had thought of this and had written down the phone numbers from the places I applied so I knew the area code and at least the first 3 numbers of the office. Yep. It’s so bad I plan how to ignore phone calls.

I just get all nervous and antsy and I don’t know what to say. And I have a really hard time when it comes to ending the phone call. What to say, how to say it. My friends used to make fun of my because I would always say the exact same thing when getting off the phone, but I don’t even remember what that was.

And then today happened.

About 9 this morning, and yes I was still asleep, I get a phone call from a number I didn’t know. Well, my new nifty phone tells me where the phone number is from. So I had no idea why someone from Seattle, Washington would be calling me. I had already told one telemarketer the day before that I had no interest in picking a degree to pursue sing, you know, I’ve already graduated from college. But she was super nice, quickly took me off the list and told me to have a good day.

Well, I was sleeping, so I ignored it. But then they called again around 1pm, so after yesterday’s successful conversation, i got brave and decided to answer. This was the wrong move on my part.

She starts going on about when I registered for something (I still have no idea what…) and I was entered for a $1,000 spending spree on some website. Also, they would send me free magazine subscriptions for 60 months, and I would just have to pay shipping at like $3.60 a week. She then said something about transferring me to her supervisor and if I could hold. I told her I wasn’t interested, and then she transferred me anyways. So, since I was put on hold, complete with crappy music, I just hung up.

She then called back. So I picked up, and before she could say anything, I told her not to call me about it anymore and thank you, and I hung up.

They then proceeded to call me back 30 times in 2 hours. Every time I just ignored it. The one time I actually hit the ignore button, they immediately called back. So then I just hit the mute button every time they called and ignored it.

I’m sure they thought if they called enough that I would give in. Little did they know who they were messing with. I’m the girl with years of practice in ignoring phone calls. It doesn’t bother me to just make the ringer quit and go about my business. Unfortunately, this has probably just reaffirmed my habit of ignoring unknown phone calls.

See, sometimes quirky little phobias help out in the long run.



Filed under The Others, WTF

6 responses to “Phone Phobia

  1. Ha! I always hit IGNORE. I just hate talking to people. If you need something, text or email. Better to have it in writing anyway.

  2. 30 times?! That’s ridiculous. If you got the name of the company, I would put in a complain to um, someone, about the spam-like behavior. Crazy!

  3. My husband hates making phone calls too. It drives me nuts, but hearing you describe it this way makes me feel a little more sympathetic to him.

    And holy moly – 30 times? You should report them to…. someone. I have no idea who. But that’s not just bad advertising practice, that’s harassment!

  4. I hate ordering food over the phone. I always make my husband do it.

    That company is ridiculous!! Their behavior is completely harassing and you should report them to the Federal Communications Commission.

  5. That is INSANE. I can’t believe they called you so many times.

    I’m not a fan of the phone, but I can tell you, it gets easier as you get older and get used to HAVING to make phone calls. That being said, a restaurant with an online ordering system for carry out/delivery is always a win in my book!

  6. Meredith

    WOW 30 times?!?! Thats insantiy. Report them. I don’t know to whom, but someone.

    I can completely related to the phone phobia, though on a lower level. I used to be exactly like you. When I was a senior in HS my mom made me call my dentist to schedule an appointment and I. almost. died. seriously.

    Since then I’ve gotten a bit better, and I think job hunting actually helped a lot because I had to continually talk to people I didn’t know. I still have my boyfriend call restaurants, banks etc, but if I HAD to, I would.

    And if I don’t recognize the number, I ALWAYS ignore it. That’s just good phone practices.

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