- What is the longest you ever spent on the phone on one call?
In high school for sure. My longest calls were with my classmate Kelly, who helped me get through long nights the summer before our senior year, and V, the person I’ve spent more cumulative time on the phone with than anyone else. That same summer and the following school year, we easily had six-hour calls.
- When you were a teen, how important was the phone in your daily life?
Super super super super super super super super super important. The school day was hectic, and because it was a private school, we all lived on different parts of the island. Hanging out was difficult on school days, so school nights were for the phone. In addition to all the usual “What did you get for number six on the chemistry homework?” there were all the pretty girls who needed regular how-are-you-doings from me.
- How much do you use the actual telephone function of your phone today?
My boss calls me once a week. I call my parents roughly once a week. And that’s pretty much it unless I must speak on the phone with one of the coworkers, or conduct an interview. I’m getting better about ordering takeout on the phone if I must, but that’s a royal pain.
- How well do you handle phone calls at work?
My parents taught me phone etiquette, as I think all my friends’ parents taught them. I speak very well on the phone in a way I don’t see anymore from most young people (and you know me; I’m a huge apologist for young people). I did time answering phones for my high school as an office assistant, and I worked retail for several years. Oh, and I’m a fill-in at the front desk at my office now, in non-pandemic days. I don’t like speaking on the phone, but I do it well. On the other hand, I have to get psyched up to call someone for an interview, or even to call my parents sometimes. So in that respect I don’t handle it well at all.
- What are some good telephone-themed songs?
“Answering Machine” by Rupert Holmes is pretty great. “Call Me” by Blondie. “Tiger Phone Card” by Dengue Fever. Oh, and here’s one you might not think of because we think of it as a song about the radio: “Pilot of the Aiwaves” by Charlie Dore. The lyrics seem to indicate the persona is writing to the DJ but who does that, unless it’s to Casey Kasem?