Friday 11 March 2011

Telephones and me..

What is it with telephones and me? No seriously, why I am so very uncomfortable speaking over the phone? I am abrupt and too to the point, I rush in and say my piece and dread the pauses, hence before a significant pause can arise I keep hurriedly down the phone. This, despite being trained all as a telephone helpline worker! It is simply shameful! More so cos in real life I am a pretty vocal and communicative person.

The other day a friend with whom I am not used to speaking on the phone, called up. Generally I am pretty chatty, so I could feel her surprise at my abruptness! But then the deed was done.

Years of training while I was growing up that the telephone was a means of quick and urgent communication and not a device for a long and slow chat has been drilled into me. 

While I was growing up, I saw my father use the telephone much like a telegraph machine, you know short precise communication like 'Tell your Ma I will be an hour late coming home today. Bye, see you later.' Even my mother, if not this bad, was not too far behind. I remember her being irritated if someone on the other side lingered for too long over the phone. She claimed it made her head buzz. My aunt had similar opinion and till this day she hates speaking over the phone. As a family we are generally so uncomfortable speaking over the phone that it becomes pretty plain to the person on the other side. If they know us, I am sure they think 'Oh there goes that mad family again. Seriously they should learn the art of slow telephone conversations'. If they do not know us, I am sure they would think ' my, what rude people!'. We are genuinely not rude, just have not got into the skin of telephones!

I remember early days of telephone conversations with my oldest friend in this world. It would go something like this...
Hello
Hello
I missed school today.
Ye,s why didn't you come?
I had tummy ache.
Oh ok.
What did you do in school today?
We did sums from chapter four, English passage chapter two and history Alexander the Great, in rest we did revision.
Ok, any homework?
Yes sums at the end of chapter four, Bengali spelling and dictation test tomorrow on chapter three and geography questions and answers on volcanoes. 
Anything else?
No.
Ok bye
Bye bye.

That was it. We were friends, we really were and still are. It is just that both were told by parents not to waste time chatting on the phone. So by mutual consent we kept the personal chit chats for later when we met.

Even with cousins, we would call each other up, get carried away laughing about something or bitching about someone and then we both would remember that we are on phone and abruptly say bye to each other. But then we are cousins and have known/suffered each other since birth, so we knew that the other person is not being rude, rather just a slave to their habits.

I remember in my late teens a boy used to call me up. He was persistent and I was nervous and that love story was domed even before it began. To give him credit the poor boy tried his best, but  I was too tongue tied, nervous and jumpy that those conversations were tortures as far as I was concerned. I dreaded his calls , agonizing over what should I say. Finally after going through this ordeal for a month or so, I asked him not to call me again. My cousin was really sad on my behalf and the love story that was never meant to be. But I was plain relieved.

Years have gone by, telecommunication has been revolutionized and mobiles have come. Yet old habits drilled from a really early age die hard. Even now living in two separate continents my conversations with my father occurs in military fashion, so much so I sometimes tell him I want to chat with him and no he cannot hang up the phone. My father sounds really surprised and tries his best to relax and forget for a minute or two that he is on the phone and chat with me.

Yet I cannot blame him, I am just like him on the phones. **Sigh**

The brighter side is that I am an ideal mobile phone customer. Month after month not even one tenth of my minutes are used up. I think I deserve a medal from them, at least!

N.B. This image is taken from Google's telephone image search.


9 comments:

  1. lol one wrd id like to say is- DITTO! :D
    hilarious post n i totally relate wid it...xcept d part whr nobody els in my family is like dat...probably stole a few genes frm sum1 livin in russia wid frozen telephone lines :(
    despite bein a full on chatterbox, m a complete dud on d fone.....buhoooo! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh dear Sadiya then you cannot even blame your family for your lack of phone skills :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. :D whoa!
    Not that i have ever been told by anyone, but i've automatically grown into this habit of one-liner phone communication. Same as you! I always prefer talking face-to-face with people. On phone calls, you don't get to see the reactions and emotions of the person you're talking to.
    Guess i've got to try out 3G video calling now! :p
    Nice post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice post! GA is also my biggest earning. However, it�s not a much.:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Mohonish, actually you know video chat is much better, frankly anything is better than phone calls-- sms, chat, video chat...just no phone calls please... :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Reginia and Latia :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, from one suchismita to another!! I came here drawn by the name and found the thoughts expressed seem to match as well.. growing up in prehistoric times, when cell phones did not exist, I guess the school conversations were exactly as narrated! Lovely post .. hope to see/ read more and often..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Suchismita, thanks for your lovely comment! It is always a pleasure to meet a namesake ;-)

    Yes now that mobiles and internet have overtaken our lives, days without those do seem prehistoric :-)

    ReplyDelete

Hey there, thanks for your comment, let me take a peek and I will soon post it. Cheers!