Oh, Was I Supposed to Call You?

16 Jul

Phone in blender

I like lists. I try to keep a notebook and pen with me like it’s underwear, a necessity. Sometimes–and I’ll explain why only ‘sometimes’ later–I write down what I want to get done in a day. The easy stuff is exercise, read, write, work, cut the grass, sweep the garage and other household stuff. I can whip through those things like I-don’t-know-what. At the end of my latest to-do list is “Call Joe” and “Call Scrap Metal Larry.” Phone calls. Crap. This is when I turn into a big baby procrastinator. Phone calls are sloooow to get marked off. I hate using the phone because I have social anxiety disorder (I like to call it, simply, PIMA, or Pain In My Ass). I have been avoiding the phone especially strong since we moved and I have no idea why.

I need to call these people because I am now a landlord (I hate that word) and we don’t own a truck. Our tenants have an 8-foot-long piece of old counter top and a fallen flag pole next to the garage. The junk has been there for a month and a half.  I told them (by e-mail, of course) that I would make a couple of calls and it would be gone. Before we moved, Joe is the guy who cut our grass, cleaned our gutters, raked our leaves, and hauled our junk. I’ve called Joe dozens of times, but that doesn’t make it easier.

I finally called Joe this week to see if he could haul away the junk. Luckily, he didn’t answer. I love the moment when I hear the perky lady’s voice telling me that I can leave a message. I love that girl. Unfortunately, he didn’t call back OR pick up the junk. I also called Scrap Metal Larry to see if he wanted the pole. In the past, I would leave a message for Scrap Metal Larry and, without calling me back, he would pick up whatever I was offering. Today I listened to ring after ring and expected the sweet voice of a fake woman, but she didn’t pick up. More ring after ring. I cursed Scrap Iron Larry and his crappy mobile service.

To most people this phone problem may seem bizarre. I know it’s bizarre, but that doesn’t help. When forced to call on someone, a social phobe will experience some or all of these thoughts:

  • I’m bothering or interrupting this person
  • I’m not saying the right things
  • I sound stupid
  • If there’s a pause in the conversation it will be my fault
  • After the call, analyzing how I was perceived
  • Thinking of things I should or shouldn’t have said

Sound like fun? I know that in “reality” I’m fine on the phone. I’m kind and patient so I know I’m better on the phone than at least 50% of humankind. Doesn’t matter. The unrealistic thoughts crowd out everything in the moment and I see myself as a social car wreck, not worthy of using your precious minutes.

So if I’m such a list-master why don’t I do it all the time? Well, when my list is all marked up and all that’s left are the hellish phone calls, my notebook seems to develop a rotten smell that only I can detect. It’s my subconscious mind going to work on being rid of the stupid thing. It’s not so much fun anymore to make a to-do list when the first items on it are phone calls. Where did I leave that damn notebook? It disappears for days and people who need called are forgotten. It’s easier that way.

10 Responses to “Oh, Was I Supposed to Call You?”

  1. Clementine July 19, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    hey call me! ….joke 🙂 (doorbells and ringing phones make my heart race..NO joke)

    • fightn4it July 23, 2010 at 9:28 am #

      Wow, I would have never guessed. Yeah, doorbells…that’s a whole other post.

  2. categoryunknown July 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    That doesn’t sound bizarre to me at all, I totally understand! I recently spent around 45 minutes poking around on the DMV’s website to schedule a driver’s test to avoid a ten-minute phone call. Even with emails (and comments :p), I still spend obscene amounts of time perfecting each line. Funny how it’s easy to open up in a blog, though.

    (ps – hope you don’t mind totally random people commenting on your posts! I just discovered yours, nice blog.)

    • fightn4it July 31, 2010 at 10:50 am #

      Thanks! I love totally random people commenting on my posts. Still when I hit “publish” on a post I start to panic. ha.

  3. Christina July 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Hey, sorry, I have to wipe the saltines from the keyboard….ok. Your words are very comical to me, as I am such a quirky, non-characteristic in every sort of way…socio-phobe, myself.

    (thought) you should call and leave a message with the sweet, kind automated girl and tell them to check their email…I’m SO NOT kidding – I would really have done this. (lol).

    and btw: I hate when people use the “lol” abbreviation, so now I have to go and find some other way to assure myself i’m still cool, yet charasmatically individualistic in my online communications. 🙂 and spell check just suggested I use “probe” on socio-phobe…yeah, uh, no.

    Take Care fightn4it!

    • fightn4it July 31, 2010 at 10:48 am #

      Yeah, a social-probe would be almost the exact opposite of a social-phobe. lol He He.

  4. Lisa July 31, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    I’m so social phobic, I’m afraid to initiate a convo on Facebook or instant message except on people’s walls

    • fightn4it July 31, 2010 at 10:33 am #

      Sucks, doesn’t it? I looked at your blog. I liked it. I agree with others…if you’re writing and you enjoy writing, you have every right to call yourself a writer. Just keep writing, try to write every day.

  5. Cucidati August 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I hate when I have to talk to a live person. I also dread having to shake hands during “peace” in church. I dread people!

    • Sunshine August 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

      Easy, don’t go to church. I don’t go anymore for other reasons, but if I were still inclined, I would not go because of the “peace” shake alone. Who thought of that little bit of torture? An evil Pope?

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