I have always hated the telephone, with a few notable exceptions for family and friends. The example I usually use when describing my near paralysing fear of talking to strangers on the phone is when I once called to order pizza for my family and ended the conversation with no order placed and in tears. There’s a good but boring explanation for it, but I haven’t ordered a pizza since, nor do I ever intend to.

When answering the phone in an official capacity, I always felt I was in good shape. When working in an office, I was on the phone 30% of my day and only rarely suffered a panic attack or ran to the bathroom in tears. It was this conviction that “official” phone calls are not scary which led me to believe I wouldn’t mind calling accounts over the phone for my new job. Even in the face of flat out rejection, I persevered. I called. I scheduled appointments. I followed up via phone. I was a telephoning superstar.

Until yesterday. My day was going along quite swimmingly until mid afternoon when I made the following phone call:

Me: “Hi, is Ruth available?”

Lady-who-answered-the-phone: Silence… “Well, no, I’m afraid she’s not. Ruth passed away about three years ago.”

Me: “Oh, no… I’m so sorry to hear that…”

With my cheeks and probably entire face flushed to the point of actually becoming a viable heat source for a small country, I climbed my way awkwardly out of that whole and managed to schedule an appointment. Lord help me when I arrive at this store, because I’ll probably ask for Ruth again.

To make matters worse, the very next phone call I made ended with me on the verge of scheduling an appointment with a woman I’d only just the day before made an appointment with already. No, I’m not really that forgetful… it just so happens that my account list had the same phone number listed for two different accounts and I wasn’t paying very good attention when the lady answered the phone. But still, it was embarrassing enough to bring a renewed blush to my face.

All this being said, I didn’t cry. I managed to sort myself out and regain composure both times, so maybe my phone skills are improving. But you can imagine that I’m not very thrilled with the prospect of calling for appointments this morning. I can think of about thirty-seven things I’d rather do, including:

  • Make my hotel room bed.
  • Wash, dry, fold and hang laundry for every person staying at this hotel.
  • Figure out what station my favorite soap opera comes on.
  • Write three more blog entries.
  • Volunteer my services at a soup kitchen.
  • Hand knit a sweater for my German Shepherd.
  • Paint my toenails.
  • Go get the oil changed in my car.
  • Tally up my travelling expenses.
  • Order a pizza with very complicated and intricate instructions and details no one at Pizza Hut would be able to get right.

Despite my endless abilities in creating distractions for myself, I think I’d better just get it over with.

::::::::::::Liz dials, panics, hangs up, dials again, sighs, and starts the day:::::::::::::