I own a mobile phone. If you could call it that. It is the source of some derision since it is the somewhat classic Motorola Razr in my signature pink and it doesn’t do anything clever. It pays for my parking. And occasionally I use it to text my cleaning lady and my niece and nephews. I could just as easily leave it in the car. Forever. No loss. I would certainly never consider answering it and it is permanently set on silent. Nobody rings. Good. I’ve had more modern mobiles. Gentle Reader, I reverted.
I don’t answer my landline either, except to two people. I have caller ID and if I don’t recognise your number, I don’t answer it. End of. I don’t want to talk about it, about anything. You do, obviously. I don’t. If I have news, I’ll call. Maybe.
I don’t have voicemail on either number. I don’t encourage or allow people to leave a message as I certainly won’t be calling back. You are welcome to email whenever you like. Email is nice and quiet. You can send it whenever you want, I can reply whenever I want. We both get our respective needs met, asked and answered.
My aversion to phones includes, but is not limited to, noisy imperative ringing and ill-timed interruptions to my peace and quiet, my thought processes, my client work and my equilibrium. Phones are inconvenient to me. They are for the convenience of the caller, not me. They ring when I’m sleeping, if mine rings at all which it mostly does not. I’ve trained my callers. Don’t. Two exceptions: my best friend (fun) and my closest business colleague (money).
Phones are for people who like to chat and be in constant contact, whereas I don’t feel any need to do either of those things. All my numbers are registered with the Telephone Preference Service and if you don’t answer, people simply stop calling. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss.
I resent the intrusion the phone has made into modern life. If I agree to meet you somewhere, I don’t need a running commentary of your journey to meet me, even if you are going to be late. I’ll wait. If you weren’t worth the wait, I wouldn’t have agreed to meet you. Waiting is just more peaceful me-time and I can use endless amounts of that. And if you never show up, never mind, I’ll just go home, it was probably you who requested the meeting anyway. Shame, you missed your chance! [It’s never happened yet, by the way.]
Skype. Ah, Skype. Now Skype I like, Skype I love. Because I speak to my clients on it and I love them. By appointment. With an agenda. I know what we are going to talk about and when, I am prepared, I am ready, willing and able. I am hands-free and I can focus on you. I even have a Skype-in number which looks like a proper phone number for those who insist on dialling in, wherever I am in the world, for the price of a call to London. As long as you Skype me by appointment, I’m all ears. But, other than that? I don’t want to talk about it, did I say?
Don’t even think about calling. Happily, you can’t. I don’t give out my numbers. I can barely remember my landline number due to lack of use and always have to look up my mobile.
Can we talk? Don’t start me!