Answering the Phone Scares Me

Marandah Mangra-Dutcher, Copy Editor

Ever since the first patented phone used by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, answering the phone has become an increasingly important life skill. However, as the telephone advanced, I think that answering the phone has been put on the back-burner compared to things like learning how to text or Face Time. My generation has been raised by texts and social media. Unfortunately, because I answer the phone so rarely I am now at a disadvantage.

At my place of employment I am being trained how to handle somethings outside my position in case someone needs assistance. One of the things that would fall under this training is answering the phone. Sounds pretty easy, right? Except it is not, at least not for me. Whenever I answer my own phone, which is very rarely, I am nervous and sometimes I stutter or my voice is weak as I am just not used to it. If someone calls me I let it go to voicemail, and then apologize over text about missing the call. The only calls that I would ever really pick up is from immediate family or if it was a planned call. This has made training to answer the phone at work a little difficult.

I believe I will get better with time and practice however, this should be something I know how to do. I should be able to pick up a phone call and answer it with ease. I should be able to speak clearly and strong. I have been attached to my phone ever since I got it in sixth grade, so why have I not picked up this skill?

Since the creation of text messaging and alternatives to phone calls the urgency to answer the phone is gone. There used to be no other time efficient way to communicate with someone who was far away other than a phone call. If you missed a phone call that was that, but thanks to modern technology that is no longer the case. If you miss a personal call you can send a text, an email, or a direct message and be able to communicate with the caller just as easily. Growing up all I got were personal calls. However now that I am entering the work force the mentality that if you miss a call there is nothing you can do except wait until they call back is presenting itself again. It is not as simple as sending a text or an email, working in a business is not like that. Especially not in a business that is in retail.

That brings up another point, the idea of picking up a phone seems harder than just sending a text. Modern technology keeps advancing to make our lives easier, and as our lives speed up technology has follow suite. It is faster to send a text then take them time to call someone. It is easier. Generation Z, my generation, is know to take the easier route so they can go back to whatever we were focused on before. We focus more on things we care about, and if something has to be done that would distract us we want it to be done as fast as possible.

All of this makes complete sense to me. I understand why I cannot answer the phone with confidence, however it makes me wonder how the business industry will change as more of my generation enters it. Will we start to rely on something easier? Will texts become a normal for businesses to use? How will life be affected?

I know the world will change and maybe this skill will disappear with the changes in the world, however until then I still need to learn how to answer a phone. I need to practice it, just like any skill I have acquired. Answering the phone in our society is a skill necessary in order to be successful in the foreseeable future.