My Motto? One Call can ruin it all

I get one just like it every week, Drew Barrymore.

I get one just like it every week, Drew Barrymore.

As you have probably figured out, I’ve been a bitter guy for my entire life. If you haven’t figured that out yet, then you probably need to read a few posts, which I know you won’t and that will make me even more bitter. It’s part of the bitter cycle that always lead to bitterness. But that is a subject for another day.

Most of you weren’t even blog born when I started out 4 years ago. So you probably don’t know all about how this blog got started. Unless you cheated on the exam, and just looked at the About page.

For the lazy (which for some reason this blog attracts), the Cliff Notes version of why I got started was because of the pure bitterness I would get about answering phone calls. I ranted many times about my bitterness toward Alexander Graham Bell and his insidious decision to invent the phone. I’ve talked about phones in general, I’ve talked about a time traveling ancestor going back to the day Graham invented it, I’ve even talked about the epic struggle between Customers and Customer Service.  Let’s just say that if me and AGB ever meet someday, there is going to be a smackdown of epic proportions. He’ll probably beat me pretty bad, but not before I give him a concussion that will destroy his idea for the phone.

I'll get you one day, AGB. At least your idea phone.

I’ll get you one day, AGB. At least your idea phone.

The sad part about my job is that I’ve been in a position for 10 years that only requires me to be a backup on the phones. The really sad part is that they keep getting rid of the front up people, so I have to keep answering it more and more.  So while some days I may only take 2 or 3 calls, I can still have a bitter day. Why you say? Well, it is all about that motto in the title.  One call can ruin it all.

I can be cruising along my day, ignoring work, not looking at my emails, daydreaming about dreaming on my couch, or doing my favorite thing at work, (twiddling my thumbs) when I see a light on the phones. Of course, I can ignore it at first, but then I have to play the game of chicken to see if I can outwait the other people. Most times I win, but sometimes my willpower to make that stupid light go away wanes, and I give in.

Will it be a hang up, or a punch to the nose? Which way it turns out, nobody knows...

Will it be a hang up, or a punch to the nose? Which way it turns out, nobody knows…

When I finally pick up a call and the Russian Roulette part of the my day comes in. You never know who is on the other side of the line. They may be nicest person in the world just wanting pricing, which I will grudgingly give them and try my best to wipe the smile off their stinking smiley face, or it can be the worst person in the world on the other line, or in other words, the customer version of me. The guy or girl that is angry, bitter and wants me to do their work for them.

In that very moment, everything can collapse. In one little call, my day, week, even month can be ruined. I once got a call from a dealer that essentially cost me an entire week. Not only did I have to keep in contact with him throughout the week, but I had to be a liason between him and a manager for an entire week. The exhaustion from having to communicate was bad enough, but to do it between two people for an entire week? All this bitterness because I just happened to be the one person at that one moment that decided to answer the phone.

Like I said, one call ruined it all. I’m not the only one that has had this happen either. You all have. One call about how you were one lottery number off from a billion dollars. One call from a relative that cost you two hours of your time. One call in the middle of the night that had some not so good news that cost you valuable sleep time. One call from a realtor, or a telemarketer, a boyfriend or a girlfriend that wanted to end the relationship. Or the employer that was asking you to come into work on your day off, or the potential employers telling you that you didn’t get the job.

You know that all this could have been avoided if the news was received by an email or a text instead. Or if you talked to a person face to face, they wouldn’t have been brave enough to say it to our face. Or if they recorded a YouTube video, or Facebook Message. It was never the news that was the problem. It was the fact that it was a call, and it ruined it all.


Bitter Call that Ruins it ALL Ben



70 thoughts on “My Motto? One Call can ruin it all

  1. To hell with that Pie Face game. My MIL got my daughter that for Xmas. What a terrible present. I, being clever, managed to convince my daughter that she could play more/longer by using cotton balls instead of whipped cream. It was one of my finer parenting moments. That and not throwing the damn thing straight in the garbage.


  2. I’m really surprised your company doesn’t have an app: sort of like: if you have this problem, go to A , if you have this problem go to B, if you have tried A and B go to part C. And, of course, at the end, most people would give up. And for the few hardcore who won’t give up, you could then have one and only one entry level employee, who takes only one call per day. A sort of pokemon plus lottery for the customers. That ought to keep them busy while you eat pizza from your new office sofa with built in gaming corner. Wait. I think I’ve seen this more than once before.


  3. I hate phoning. Hate calling people up and hate picking up the receiver.

    On another note, I suppose Mister Bell left other people very bitter, too, seeing as he didn’t actually invent the telephone but stole the idea from Antonio Meucci. Does anyone still know Meucci? Imagine how bitter he must have been.


    • I honestly think that AGB(and Meucci) thought it would be a good idea to come up with a device that compelled us to answer this device to talk to people. Kind of like a Pavlovian response the dog had to the bell and food.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so with you on this, Ben. I hate the phone and tend to avoid people for whom the phone is their preferred mode of communication. However, my bitter attitude toward phones turned against me once when I was a Realtor. I was covering phones with another Realtor one day and got so sick of talking to dead-end customers that I let the fellow Realtor pick up a call that I was supposed to answer. It turned out to be a million-dollar customer, and the rule was that whoever picked up the phone got the customer. Damn you, AGB!!


  5. I’m with you on this one … i don’t do phone calls … that solves it for me. My people ( 😉 ) know that if they want to get hold of me, ringing me is not the solution … text, email, FB even smoke signals … but phone calls … nope.


  6. I hate using the phone in the USA because of my Scottish accent so it’s a great excuse to not talk to people and just use texts. Like any normal person! Stop using the phone Americans!


      • Thank you… 😉
        Also have you tried the phonic alphabet with a Scottish accent?
        “How do you spell Alba? A. L. B. A.”
        “So E L B E?”
        ” No, A for Apple”….. I can’t help it if my As sound like Es. It’s a nightmare. Plus when you make up the phonic alphabet coz you don’t know what the E stands for … E for Elephant, K for knife sort of thing….. Arrrrgh!!!
        Text only please!


  7. I would say I’m sorry you are bitter, but it seems to have worked out pretty well for you. If you were not for bitterness, you might be something terrible, like happy, for instance.


  8. Ugh, phone calls are the worst. Except talking to people face-to-face, which is the real worst. Because humans.

    Also, if only we didn’t have OCD making us want to turn off those lights indicating a call is waiting, we could out-wait that customer on the line. And then the day would be saved instead of ruined.


  9. I’m a receptionist right now, and I have this constant, nagging feeling that I should track down everyone that calls me and beat them for making me do my job. This post spoke to my deep bitter-nougat core.


  10. I had bitterness towards the emails and the phone calls. I worked the office desk for a captain in the Navy. Good God man, they’re all really persnickety to start, and on top of it, military officers have REALLY bad luck with time. Short notice, or late was their forte.

    They were always busy, so I handled the B.S. Yay! I say that with full sarcasm. -.-


  11. I used to have a job where every day I had to call as many people as possible. I had to pitch them the opportunity to be part of an educational process for the basement bargain price of 25, 000 smackeroos. I lacked the ability to separate myself sufficiently from the task, and basically went into a state of depression alleviated only by a sense of anxiety, fear and inadequacy. Now, I found something easy to do. Teach high school. HAHAHAHA.


  12. I completely agree. I had a couple of jobs that required me to answer phones and it’s the absolute worst. A lot of really stupid people out in the world too, especially when I was working in the restaurant business. Many times did I get a phone call asked, “How long do you think the wait will be around 7pm?”
    Hmmmm, let me use my psychic abilities and get back to you on that one.


  13. I’m sorry for your phone bitterness, Ben. Once in a while, I get a phone call that ruins the day at work, but not too often. I have more bitterness toward emails…the ones where someone is too cowardly to pick up the phone to tell me they are sending a ton of work and really short deadline my way and, “hey, I’m sorry and good luck with that.” Chicken! It happens far too often of late and that makes me terribly bitter. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the Monday email shoe to drop…


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