November 18, 2014

Phone Rant

“Don’t you think you could have said that better?” George asked me this morning after my friend of many years hung up on me.
After a long, long pause, I answered, “Yes, I guess I could have.”
It was still time to say what I was thinking, but I could have found a kinder gentler way of putting it.
For years when she phones me, I ask, “Are you driving?” I have also said mildly, “Are you washing dishes?” Usually she is driving when she calls me. For years I haven’t said a thing about it. This morning, I said what I have been thinking for years.
I have to confess that I hate phones. After five years of a life spent continually on the phone, today I rarely use it. This dear friend lives a getting busier life in a very big city yet insists we talk every week. That’s great if she is sitting and I am sitting, but that’s not what happens. She fits her calls to me in with walking the dog, driving with all the attendant sounds, cleaning house with all the attendant sounds, and driving…et al.
“I really wish we could talk when you are not driving,” I told her this morning….and the conversation went rapidly downhill from there. Not good.
Though we have a standing appointment, she fits talking to me in where she can in her busy schedule. I can’t hear a lot of what she says against the background traffic noise combined with my tinnitus. And too, I think it rude. I feel much like a second class citizen put on a side burner and fit in only when it’s convenient.
Yes, I could have put it better.

  • Himself: Enjoying his work a lot and feeling fine.
  • Herself: Dropped the camera again…it just flew out of my purse. Seems to be working ok tho.
  • Reading: Just finished a Reich.
  • Balance: Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm.


  1. Ack! I'm so sorry. My sister does the same thing to me. I can't over the water running, the dishwasher, stuff frying on the range, doors opening and closer, not to mention the phone slipping away from her lips even with a headset. I CANT HEAR YOU I shout. Repeatedly. Ufda!

  2. I can see two sides of this. On one hand, yes it can be kind of rude, difficult for you to hear her and it probably makes you feel like you're just one of the two birds she's killing with one stone.

    On the other hand, she's probably a compulsive (or not) multitasker and in her mind, what she's doing is making the effort to stay in touch with you each week despite her busy schedule.

    I don't know how your conversation devolved, but if she's a good friend, I'm sure you'll find better words to let her know how it makes you feel and you'll work it out.

    I have a friend who also cooks, cleans and eats while we're on the phone. I really don't mind though because we both stay on for hours and we just incorporate each into the others day.

    What bothers me much more than that is another friend who constantly answers other calls while we're on the phone. Once in a while, in case it's something important is understandable but she just has side chats with her daughters while I'm on hold. That's frustrating and tiresome.

    Anyway, I hope your spat resolves shortly.

  3. Although somewhat annoying, I find that I have to accept that my daughters at least think of me when they have "time" to call to visit. So I just ignore the background noise and enjoy the conversation.

  4. Well, hubby as a business partner (an MD) who talks on the phone while driving. At least now, I think he bluetooths! You need to compromise...yes she's busy, yes you feel you don't get enough attention. Agree to have calls when she is #1#2#3 but NOT #4 #5 etc. You both can reach a middle ground. I often wish I was more outspoken...but I do not have any friends that call me on a regular basis!

  5. Cannot believe that I inspired you! You an artist! Ah, I hope that your meal is delish as garlic is so good for you.

  6. I too hate talking to someone when they are driving. My son Richard and his wife Wendy are always driving, as is my daughter. They know I don't like it because I have told them so. They still call me, however, because they love me. If your friend never speaks to you again, she isn't much of a friend.

    If I am busy and someone calls, I tell them. Yesterday Kathy called while I was putting groceries away, and I told her what I was doing and put her on speakerphone. She understood. Although we are seniors, we do have busy lives.

    PS My kids also text me. I text back.

  7. Preach on sister, you are my kind of woman.

    It is against the law here to drive & talk on a cell phone.

    I see so much rude behavior of people with a cell phone attached to their ear.

  8. you could always start chewing gum when you talk on the phone.

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  10. Oops ... you picked up some boycotting spam there. How silly is that?

    Anyway, like you, I am not a phone person. Part of it is bad hearing, including tinnitus (welcome to the club, and part is due to being an introvert and never knowing what to say.

  11. Like Hilary I see both sides. I am guilt of calling friends when I drive (with a bluetooth) or walking to the store or in the store. If, when I'm driving or doing something else and I can't give the conversation my full attention I will let my friend know and call them back. I refuse to talk to on the phone when I get to the checkout because I think that's very rude both to the person you're talking to and the cashier. It also drives me crazy when people call me and then have conversations with other people. What really makes me nuts is when someone tells me they have to call me right back and right back becomes hours later. My cousin does this all the time. I'm sure if your friend loves and cares for you she'll keep on calling.

  12. We multi-taskers do this. I was especially guilty of such behavior when teaching. I did not have time to just sit when I talked on the phone.

    One friend would get especially miffed when I did other tasks while talking to her. She, however, did not have a job nor did she do any of her own housework. She could sit for hours. My time didn't allow it.

    My daughter calls and puts me on speaker phone so she can do her tasks while talking. The children come through, screaming, and often I get to hear bits and pieces about their life. I don't mind because I at least get to be in on their life.

  13. Reading you now, I realize I've been among the missing with you. I apologize. I don't mean to fall out of touch. It just happens. I don't blame you for feeling that your friend is being rude when she calls you while driving--it's not only rude, it's downright dangerous! I'm not writing as much these days -- I'm more caught up in my quilting, as I should be if I'm to get two twin quilts finished by Christmas. I don't know that I'll be successful in meeting that deadline. :/

    Love to you and G! Happy Gobble-Gobble!


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