Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Modern Issue

I am not great with phones.

Around here, phone use is a regular topic as a lot of our campers and younger staff members simply don't know (and often can't figure out) how our phone system works. It's not complicated -- but so many of these kids haven't had a lot of experience with a landline and a lot of them express a strange sort of phone phobia. They communicate via text. They don't call.

My own issues stem from other things. I grew up with a landline, after all. I can talk to my friends (my age comes through when I admit that I do in fact talk on the phone with friends) and family without issue, but I don't like cold-calling people. When it comes down to it, phones are where my introversion -- and awkward engineer-y-ness -- come out to wreak havoc. So it seems only natural that today has been a day of ... we'll say interesting phone conversations. It took a lot more extrovert juice than usual to power through some of them.

"Extrovert juice"
1. Several parents signing their kids up for camp who were having issues with the website. I'm having a hard time replicating their issues because it seems to work fine for me. And I have a lot more sympathy for IT folks and their ability to follow people's issues through more than one click.

2. One church secretary calling on behalf of a mom whose daughter wants to go to a backpacking camp (follow that?) ... and mom is concerned about things like bathroom availability on the trail.


I want to understand. I really do. But (a) let your daughter decide if that's actually a concern, and (b) if it is, please don't go backpacking.

3. A future family reunioner looking for doorway measurements (for a wheelchair -- I realize that sometimes context is everything). This one is mostly significant because it ended up being a three-call trail. Which wouldn't have been an issue if I hadn't bumped a button and hung up on her on call two.

4. Just for fun, I also got a voicemail that started with, "Hello, this is Detective ___ from the Rapid City Police Department." That catches a girl's attention. [Note: It was a follow-up call to poor Sophie getting backed into a few months ago. The other driver did not stick around to chat.]

Bonus points: I call the RCPD back and the gentleman covering the phones is there because the usual person is temporarily gone. He apologizes in advance. "I'll transfer you, but let me get your contact information first. I'm not very good at this..."

I feel your pain, sir. I feel your pain.

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