I hate phones…

I think I might have posted this earlier, I’ve been sentenced to answering the information line. The inquiries are not the problem, as I have no issue with replying to e-mails and sending out info packs, but this is what bugs me : the 1800 line from hell.

I have an intense phobia of phone work, ever since I worked at the credit card call centre, and got yelled at on a daily basis. I had a nervous breakdown, and left that job. There was no way I could have done it anymore.  (This was in the beginning of 2007, prior to OMM being created.) 

Now, at the information line, no one yells at me as much (there are some who still do, but I have  no issue with reminding them that I’ll hang up if they keep that up), but it’s just the phone ringing that sends my heart racing, and I get a very uncomfortable feeling when I’m talking to someone. I wish I didn’t have to do it, and I must admit that there are many times where I just let it ring (when the boss isn’t near, or if his door is closed), because I’m too scared to pick up. I mean, you never know when, or what will set someone off. I know, I absolutely refuse to do callbacks, they can call back if it’s that important. I just can’t get the courage to do it, and the worst, is that when I address it at work, I get laughed at, or not taken seriously. I’m a good worker, just get me off the freaking phones!! I can’t take it anymore. This has caused me to become depressed again, I can’t sleep, I’m always stressed, really jumpy, and I’ve lost weight (which isn’t good, ass I’ve always been skinny to begin with). I’ve been on that line since the 18th of December, and I don’t know howw long I can put up with it. I’m just praying, to whatever may be out there, that I get selected from the pool, for a different position. Worst case scenario, If I don’t get another job by March, I’ll have to quit. A job is not worth becoming suicidal over, and I don’t want to go down that path again. Who knows, maybe this is why I can’t remember to post, as all I want to do, is to curl up in a defensive ball, and hide, far away from the phone…

Does anyone have any ways that I could get over this phobia, or at least make it less debilitating? Note that I can’t really afford any expensive shrinks or therapists. I’m just a lolwly contractor, being mistreated by the government.

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One Response to “I hate phones…”

  1. OMM, I just discovered that you have Cats Working on your blogroll. Thank you! In exchange, I’d like to give you some advice about your job that won’t cost you a penny.

    START WORKING LIKE A CAT!

    Reading your description of yourself on the job, I picture a dog who has been kicked too many times. Hurt, fearful, yet coming back for more.

    That’s not how a cat operates. First, you have to work on convincing yourself that YOU are in control. That shouldn’t be hard because you are. People are calling YOU, not the other way around. Before you pick up the phone, remind yourself that you steer the conversation. They are coming to you for help because you have the upper paw. It’s nuts to feel intimidated when you are the one holding all the treats.

    And if anyone gets nasty, you don’t have to take the abuse. Just tell them you can’t help them unless they calm down, or hang up.

    Next, go to your manager and ASK to be taken off the phones. They can’t read your mind. And sitting around waiting for someone to notice how miserable you are and take pity on you is casting yourself as the victim again.

    Cats are NEVER victims. If we don’t like something, we change it or kill it.

    If you can’t get off the phones and you still hate them, then you are obviously in the wrong job and no amount of advice is going to make it the right job. Update your resume and start looking for something better.

    As a cat, you have the brains, poise, and speed to get what you want. But you have to use them. Hope this helps. Good luck! Fred

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