Monday, 2 April 2007

Red-faced, and not from hanging upside down.

I found this in today's a garden of nna mmoy. 'This week's mission: to write a post in the reverse of traditional blog format. Instead of anecdote-epiphany-rumination-resolution, try resolution-rumination-epiphany-anecdote.' And I am about to try a post this way.

I am just going to have to try harder, that's all there is to it. Starting by phoning to apologise as soon as I finish this upside down post. Um, there I go again.

I don't know why I dread making phone calls. I do know that because I dread it I put off doing it. I worry that I will catch the person I have to call at a bad moment, so I set a time later on in the day to make the call and then 'forget' to do it at that time. I send an email instead. I wait for them to call me. I try to unload the call onto someone else. All of these things are childish, foolish and downright chicken hearted. Other people don't seem to have this phobia. Leaving a voice mail, yes, but making the call -- no. The reluctance to pick up the phone waxes and wanes with me. Sometimes I can do it with not a lot of effort -- other times I can stretch the amount of time I stew about it over days and make a mess of things.

I managed to do just that this weekend, and I now have a couple of people on the Hall Committee where I work quite annoyed with me, and another one shaking her head at what an idiot I am and yet another one in the soup because I made the annoyed people angry with her, too. But it is only this morning that I realized that the phone call phobia was the cause of the problem.

I think I have said that I am involved in a fundraising effort for our local Community Health Centre. We're selling cookbooks at present and I was due to set up and sell them at a dinner at the community hall where I also volunteer. We had a function there on Friday and I left the boxes of books at the hall afterwards, so that I would not have to lug them home and then lug them back. But when I got to the hall yesterday afternoon, the books were not there. One of the hall regulars had found them, thought they might be mine but couldn't reach me by phone (and hates voice mail) and so had taken them off to the home of another one of the volunteers to keep them safe.

This really annoyed me -- he could have just locked them into the secure cupboard -- so I trundled off to retrieve them, only to find that the woman he took them to was not home. So I got miffed and went home. No cookbooks were sold, and the job that I usually do, dishwashing, was short of workers. They could have used me, and I got all sulky and childish and didn't do what I was supposed to do. Plus I ended not explaining the posters I had with me to put up for another function, thus leaving a co-worker hanging out to dry because she got blamed for putting up the posters without telling anyone. If I had just called the hall, either in the morning while they were setting up or even after I got home, I could have prevented the whole mess, or at least half of it. And here I was mad at someone for doing pretty well exactly what I had done too. How petty can I be? Pretty bad.


  1. Oh, Mary, I'm sorry that your day went like this. I have the same fear. I hate picking up that phone. Joe is the same way and he and I will often have little tiffs over who should be making the call. It's silly, but I'm really impressed at how willing you are to admit the mistake.

    Good luck with the resolution (which I suppose will require to pick up and dial a few times). And great way to complete the Monday Mission (I chickened out this week...too much on my plate and a post almost ready to go).

  2. I too will do a lot to avoid having to make a phone call--even a nice phone call to a friend. I have no idea why that is.

    Good job.

  3. I hate phone calls. I also avoid emailing. I am doomed when it comes to helping a child navigate her way to adulthood.