I currently work at an outbound call center for an education company. My coworkers and I are rarely welcome callers. We know that. We accept that. But those few people at the other end of the phone who do want to talk to us help make this job less miserable. This post is not about those people.
Following is a list of some of the more interesting reasons people give us for not wanting to talk at the moment. Let me just remind you, dear readers, that these people answered a phone call from an unknown number before giving us these
Starting with the most common and mundane…
I am at work. (So you could answer your phone a few seconds ago, but NOW you can’t talk on it?)
I am in class. (COME ON, TEACHERS!)
I am at [insert sport here] practice.
Delving further into the category of Why Did You Answer Your Phone In The First Place?…
I am at the spa. (Jealous.)
I am getting my nails done. (You risked smudging your manicure for nothing?)
My baby is crying. (Really? I HADN’T NOTICED.)
I’m in Walmart.
I’m in public. (I didn’t think that was against the law or even the custom here.)
I’m out to lunch with someone. (So it was acceptable to answer your phone in front of that person’s face, but talking on it is toeing the line.)
My phone is out of minutes. (The phone was a landline.)
We are now fully in the category of WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU DOING ANSWERING YOUR PHONE?
I’m in an interview. (I hope this isn’t a job you are hoping to land.)
I’m in a meeting. (I hope this isn’t a job you are hoping to keep.)
I’m walking into a funeral. (Silence your damn phone already!)
I just had surgery and I’m kind of loopy. (Sounds great, let’s party.)
And our final category can only be summed up in one word with lots of punctuation: SERIOUSLY?!?!?!
I’m in the shower.
I’m being arrested.
He/she is in jail.
I’m not here to berate people for not wanting to talk on the phone whenever someone calls. Just remember: you can refrain from answering the phone (and in fact, there times when I hope you do). Teenagers haven’t learned that yet, but I hope that someday they do. Blaming other people for disturbing us when we have the power to say no is just not a healthy habit.
And one note on singing voicemails: No one does a good job. Oh, you actually do? No, you don’t. Accept it.