The trouble with phones

I have a problem with phones. I have a landline, which is listed, and I have Caller Display on it. When I see a number I don’t recognise, or the display tells me it’s International or Number Withheld, I just don’t answer it. That’s cut down the number of spam and phishing calls considerably, and it’s a ‘boon and a blessing to men’ as the advert said*. And if that means I don’t deal with any overseas call centre it’s not my fault; it’s the fault of the company who doesn’t want to pay for a UK call centre.

I have a mobile (and I won’t tell you the number), which I use all the time for emails, the occasional text from my family and close friends, and for Internet access. But I have never learned how to use it for voice calls. I usually have it on silent anyway. So when I get the very rare call on it, I haven’t a clue how to answer it, so I don’t. (Yes I know I can read the manual, but I don’t want to, so there). And then I get a message saying I have a Missed Call. If it’s from somebody in my contacts file I can see who I’ve missed, so I can text them, otherwise it remains an eternal mystery, and I usually clear my Missed Calls list anyway.

When I was working, especially when I was in senior management, I was on the phone a lot, and I was used to it. But since retirement my hearing has deteriorated quite a lot, and even with two hearing aids, it’s not good and only going to get worse. I find that, even with volume controls on my phones, my hearing is such that I have no confidence in my ability to understand what’s being said to me over a phone. I have to concentrate so hard on identifying the words that it doesn’t leave me enough time to think about their meaning, and what my response should be. With person-to-person talking, I can see their face, their lips, and the visual cues are enough to help me. But I can’t lip-read on a phone.

So, I’m sorry if I’ve missed your call, whoever you are, and I hope that the reason you wanted to speak to me wasn’t a matter of life or death (however unlikely that scenario may be). If you can’t reach me by phone, I always respond to emails, and that’s my preferred medium for communication over distance. You do have my email address, don’t you?

* The old stationery advert went:
They come as a boon and a blessing to men;
The Pickwick, the Owl, and the Waverley Pen.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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