Friday, 7 September 2007

To Call or Not Call...Back

The other day I answered my phone to hear an anxious, uptight voice:
“Who are you?! What company are you calling from?! What is your name?!” "Who are you?!"
Moi: “Excuse me?”
A tad bit slower, the caller questioned, “Who are you? What company are you calling from? What is your name? Why are you calling me?” When I said this was my home and why do you ask like that, she said someone had called from my phone number into her home in Wexford.

Stammering, I said I had no idea, and that, to my knowledge no one had called her from our house. She insisted someone had—and by this point, I believed her, since she was indeed dialling back into our home. And yet, I had no answer for her. I murmured on about little daughters and wrong numbers until finally she put down the fight and hung up. Yep, that’s right I was quick to blame Babydoll and Cutiepie. And then I remembered….

Earlier that morning I had tried calling a neighbor in Wexford using dial-by-memory. Only my memory hasn’t been reliable since Winter 2002, just before life, aka babydoll, was borne from me and my memory banished, much thanks to pregnancy and all that adorns it. So I WAS the culprit and the riddle captured by this woman on her caller ID.

I felt like calling her back, explain and apologize profusely. Nearly. Though not nearly enough. ‘Cuz then I thought...what exactly is her problem? Am I her problem, me and my misguided ringing in her home? Or is her problem having nothing better to do than chase unanswered calls back to the callers?

When I matter-of-factly played this all back to my DH, he simply looked at me in disbelief. And though he does this often enough, I knew then that I had just dialled wrong number #2 of the day…

You see, my thing is this: if someone’s call to me goes unanswered for whatever reason, I rarely call back. Just because the caller’s number is readily available on caller ID, does it mean I have to ring them back? Sometimes the cost of calling back is reason enough, but moreover, I never call a number I don’t recognize. And most of the time I don’t even call the number I do recognize. With voicemail, answering machine, email, texts, and rocks through my window, if this person wants me, they’ll get me!

Armed with the best argument FOR calling back—any call could be a biz lead—my DH is appalled at my choice to not call back. He says it is comparable to walking down the road and ignoring the person waving and saying “hi”. In fact, he says it is downright rude to not return these calls!

Oh! I never have enough time to get a hold of those that I want to reach, let alone make time to call those who are trying to reach me.

‘Course, as with all rules, there are exceptions: the long-awaited-for caller, the soothing best friend, even the MIL has her privileges—she always gets my call back. The DH? Well no, not even he gets a call back --unless I’m calling free from work.

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