As many of you now know, I am officially enrolled in graduate school. That’s a scary thing all on its own, but things were going relatively well. Until that is, I read the following:
Before registration, it is required that you contact your department via phone to be assigned an advisor.
Ok, it doesn’t matter how old you are or how much experience you have (Hello, receptionist here!), phone anxiety never really goes away. I always shit myself when I find out I have to *GASP* talk on the phone. I know this is one of the highest ranking anxieties, right below public speaking. But the thing is, public speaking never really bothered me. If I can see a person’s body language and they can see mine, I feel much more successful in communicating with them. Phones, on the other hand, rely entirely on your voice to communicate the important stuff.
And there’s always so many awkward silences.
Sure, being a receptionist has given me plenty of practice, and I’m much better now than I was, but I can’t deny that my heart still drops every time I see that phone light up. You never know who’s going to be on the other end. It could be someone you have great repertoire with, or it could be the worst of the worst…the dreaded salesman.
Short horror story: When A salesman calls.
Gods, the salespeople of the world certainly have not helped my phone anxiety get any better. Their tactics often revolve around bullying and pushing you into answering questions, with little regard for your attempts to shut down their sales pitch and hang up the phone.
Sequel: When A Salesman Calls Back
I once had a salesman call me back so many times after I told him I wasn’t interested that I had to mute the phones so that clients didn’t think I was ignoring important phone calls.
Now, I realize that graduate school is going to require a lot more phone calls, and I’ve come to terms with that, but the anxiety is still there every single time. I have an internal panic attack that makes my inner child scream “I DON’T WANNA” before I calmly pick up the phone and say “Kat speaking” with my well practiced receptionist voice.
And all of this made me realize a completely cheesy point: Being brave is easy when there’s nothing to fear. But being scared and doing it anyways, that’s really what being brave is about.
So if you’re like me, terrified of the phone, be brave. It’s often not as scary as you think! (I say as I hide from the salesmen)
I want to take a vote. Raise your hand if you’re also scared of answering the phone!
Stay rad, cozies.