People are commenting that I am short with them and at times all out losing my temper while speaking with them on the phone.
My initial response is "Duh. Thank you for repeatedly proving you haven't been listening to a word I've said."
Fuming about yet another of those conversations, I concluded the direct approach didn't work nor did using examples of what's irking me. Since listening is not the offending parties strong suite, I am now putting it in writing.
HOW TO USE YOUR PHONE TO PISS ME OFF
1) have your kid or grandchild answer the phone. If you are busy - don't answer, it's that simple. Later when we do make connection you spend the first 5 - 10 minutes apologizing for, regardless of age, the kid's inability to take a message and then remember to give you the message.
In the future I shall either hang up when the kid answers or give a scandalous message specifically tailored to piss you royally.
2) what is the deal with women over 50 calling just to sniff and groan? Not only is this thoughtless and unappetizing, you're too busy sharing your misery long distance to realize how utterly ridiculous you sound. At your age no one should have to tell you to get off the phone, blow your nose and take drugs if needed. Trust me, "sniff, ugh, sniff, ah" is not scoring you sympathy points.
3) if you're more interested in what's on TV - get off the phone. Likewise, if a show is coming on you want to watch, don't call me.
4) the growing fad seems to be making me repeat myself over and over, and over. An appropriate response to "are you still there?" is not huh?
Thank you for expressing how little I mean to you. Have you noticed I quit calling?
5) before uttering any sentence that begins "I know you don't want to hear this" unless 'this' is refers to a tragedy or work related issue or directly involves you and me - bite your tongue and pick a different topic. The real amazing part is how often I get phone calls on the same damn topic in which "I know you're tired of hearing this" is stated.
6) please stop taking the statements "I'm working" or "I'm writing" as an invitation stay on the phone or, once I get you off the phone, to call back repeatedly. It wouldn't be so bad if you actually had something to say.
7) see #6. The same holds true for the statements "I'm fixing a meal" or "we're sitting down to eat". You don't take my phone calls at these times. Yet when I say this my phone doesn't stop ringing. Honest I didn't think much about it until a friend quipped "are your eggs cold yet? have you given up trying to eat and gave your food to the dog?" Thank you. I'm not even going to ask why you find these stunts fun. The comment it makes on your view of our friendship is unflattering.
8) when you call to ask my advice will you please warn me when the question is the opening salvo of an argument? I am not your spouse, kid or boss. I don't live with you therefore I don't know the history behind your current mood.
9) yeah. you know. ah huh. These are NOT descriptions. When relating an incident try including pertinent information. Saying "Then he, ah, yeah." tells me nothing. Typically the conversation ends with me having no idea what you were talking about.
10) this is actually my #1 pet phone peeve. The phone rings. I answer and you make a partial declaration such as "shots are being fired" and the line goes dead. Then you don't call back with the rest of the story. And your phone goes direct to voice mail for hours or days.
In the future I shall assume you are either dead or have killed someone and you're on the run. I will post the least appropriate condolence on Facebook.
Yeah, I'm copping an attitude. Yeah, I'm fed up. Would I have to go to this extreme if our conversations were face-to-face?
One last peeve - ask before giving out my phone number. Maybe there's a damn good reason I didn't give that person my number.