This is an odd confession for a journalist to make, even a freelance one (which means that currently only half the projects I’m working on actually pay me), but I hate talking on the phone. Currently, I’m procrastinating from picking up my otherwise innocuous brick of a smartphone, finding a number in my “recently dialed” list, and calling to do the last interview that I need before sitting down to write another article for CityView.
Going in person to meet someone actually bothers me less than that first phone call to set up the appointment. Even with people with whom I am good friends, I find less stress involved in texting, messaging, or Skyping. Perhaps it is because I can actually see the person – or have the extra time in texting to think about what they have said and craft my response. Perhaps it is a function of being a highly socialized introvert that I would rather expend all the social energy – or none at all – but find it some kind of annoying halfway marker to have only the vocals and none of the visuals.
Or perhaps it is a holdover from my early experience working in an office. I used to actually get the sweats when I had to make a business call. I would find every way to procrastinate calling, including waiting for them to call me or, later on, see if an Internet search engine could help me out. (And, for perspective, these were the days of Netscape and Altavista and that search engine with the dog in the commercial… And wow, I just had to Google those because I drew a big old techno-blank right in my head.)
Eventually, though, I forced myself to get on the phone and get used to it, if not entirely comfortable. Nowadays, I give myself little opportunities to procrastinate, say, by writing a blog post. Or, I use email to set up a time for the phone call which, if not completely calming my nerves, at least gives me a deadline to get over it.
As I now see that we are heading to 2 pm, and I need to get this interview done so I can move on with the day, I’m going to sign off. Be back soon with more interviews and procrastination confessions!