Monday, May 5, 2008

I Wonder

I have always wondered:

Why some people believe that they must always answer the phone when it rings, regardless of what they are doing when it rings, and how much imposition that may cause to themselves, or the people they are with in person.


Why these same people believe that the people they call on the phone are likewise obligated to answer the phone in a similar fashion?

I have observed that with older people the urge to always obey the ringing summons to speak to someone else is almost impossible to ignore. Perhaps that is part of the generation, the way they view technology, or the belief that certainly no one would call them if it weren't important (all evidence to the contrary). Perhaps it is part of their mindset that they have an obligation to meet the needs of other people.

The problem is then, that when others are not able or choose not to respond to that ringing annoyance, these same folks are insulted. My mother has this way of commenting that "Oh, you don't take my calls," the words and tone of voice setting my nerves on edge! For heaven's sake, of course I take her calls. When I am able.

Just because I have a cell phone, and normally have it with me (not always, just usually) that doesn't mean that I am going to always stop whatever activity I'm engaged in to take that call. I didn't even do that when I had a land line. Just because the phone rings, doesn't mean I have to stop everything and run to answer it.

Oh well, enough pondering the imponderable. Maybe George Carlin or Gallagher can help me understand this phenomenon. Then again - do I really need to understand? Is it not enough that I have reached enlightenment on this topic? Certainly if I'm waiting for these other folk to understand me, or my thinking in regard to the telephone, I'm wasting my time and effort.

As Robert Heinlein said. “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”


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