The internet and texting has been my saviour but official bodies of this world don’t seem to be catching up.
I hate phones. I’ve always hated phones and I always will hate them.
I’m not talking about smartphones but the actual act of a phone call where you speak aurally to another person over a device. For me it is one of the most uncomfortable sensations one can get outside actual pain.
It of course depends on personality makeup and how the brain works. Someone like myself who can be introverted needs a specific type of input for communication and that involves body language, facial expressions as well as a voice.
To be robbed of two thirds of that communication (plus some of the low end frequencies of the voice) is incredibly stressful and is an extremely unpleasant experience.
I realise that no-one really likes making phone calls to strangers but this goes beyond simple dislike. Telephobia is a real and proven condition which most other people can’t really understand, especially when you tell them that face to face communication is absolutely fine.
Nothing fills me full of dread more when someone says “Just give them a call” and there is no feeling more horrible when people call you stupid for a seemingly irrational fear. “There are people starving out there and you moan about making a phone call?” is one I’ve heard before and of course there’s nothing like guilt to cure all mental issues is there?
I can’t tell you how many job interviews I had to pass up just after I left school because a good chunk of them required you to call a number to set it up and I just couldn’t do it. Of course back then the internet and texting were in their infancy so to be expected to make a call was common. However, for some reason it’s just as bad these days and there’s no excuse for it.
It’s not just things like setting up job interviews. Almost every single document issued by the Government be it HMRC or a local city council is almost always missing any other form of communication other than a single telephone number.
This is 2017 not 1974. You can LITERALLY order and have a pizza delivered to your door within 30 minutes without any human contact whatsoever yet the most powerful body in the country still relies on an archaic device as a means of primary contact?
An example of this would be a letter I received from my local council last week informing me of some information I had to submit. Nowhere on the letter did it say how I was to submit it but on the letter I surprisingly found an email address at the top next to a single lone phone number for the entire department.
What joy I thought and I submitted my info and got on with my day. Time went by and I didn’t hear a peep back which had me a little worried as they had imposed a time limit on when I had to submit my information by. Two weeks past and the deadline was getting near and still no word back so much to my disgust I had to phone them to see what was happening.
Imagine my horror could they not tell me right there and then if my email had been received but informed me that that would “call me back within the next few hours”.
To someone with telephobia this is tantamount to being told there is a bomb somewhere close by and I spent the next few hours in perpetual stress mode.
It seems no-one can explain why all these official bodies seem to be so incompetent and so behind the times when it comes to modern means of nonverbal communication. You literally have email, text message and instant messenger to name only three and I’m sure there are a lot more than my slightly behind the times mind is unaware of.
The fact that these officials seem to take SO long to respond (if at all) by email or rely almost totally on a device which is now over 100 years old for communication is disgraceful in this day and age.
Add to the fact that these officials demand information submitted by certain dates and it’s nothing more than a huge bureaucratic disaster which could be so easily avoided by appointing some online IM teams and dedicated email readers/responders.
Any shit about how they can’t afford the staff and perhaps they might want to look at stuff like MP’s expenses, unusable nuclear weapons, corporate tax avoidance or cannabis legalisation and taxation. The phone lines are always crammed anyway so why not increase the means of communication and split the phone jockeys into email repliers instead?
Get with the times, you demand enough of us the people so at least make the process modern and convenient.