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Author Topic: Telephone Terror  (Read 146 times)

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Offline Mindquake

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Telephone Terror
« on: February 18, 2014, 01:47:50 AM »
Sorry for the long ramble.  Sometimes you just have to get stuff out.

Something hush hush is going on at the office and I'm concerned it may involve my near inability to use the telephone.  I've held down this job longer than any other - 13 and half years! But lately it's getting harder and harder to make myself pick up the accursed phone when it rings. I'm afraid it's going to be someone pushy and I won't be able to think fast enough to be the cool professional doormat I am expected to be.  The phone rings and my palms are instantly dripping with sweat -- lots of it!  And the breathing rate way goes up.  Whenever I do force myself to answer they often say, "You sound out of breath.  Didn't mean to make you run," which only seems to make things worse.  Or my voice is very shaky and I think the predatory super-businessmen types pick up on that. 

I'm also struggling with the issue of noise in the open office.  Quite often I get calls from people of many different cultural backgrounds and often a very lousy connection makes it hard to comprehend the caller, so when there is a lot of office noise on top of that (and there is a LOT), coupled with my fear of being confused by someone's anger and pushiness (of which there is also a lot), I'd rather just let it go to voice mail.

Voice mail doesn't help either because then I'm not just imagining the callers are angry and pushy.  I know they are!  And calling them back is like this big ritualistic ordeal that takes me forever to prepare for.  I'll go so far as to search way back through email archives just to try to find that person's email rather than call.  Avoidance behavior I guess.

All of this slows me down, undoubtedly.

Now I feel I've let this go on too long before getting help, and they are ready to either let me go (maybe a blessing, but I am too old to easily find something else) or demote me.  Maybe that would be a blessing too.

The thing is, though my doctor had diagnosed me with GAD and for a while I was taking Sertraline, I guess I thought I could handle it, that I was just being silly and would straighten myself out eventually.  but I may have waited too long and now my job may be in jeopardy.

How am I ever to convince other people that GAD is very real with very real consequences if I can't even convince myself?  And I do wonder if I can ever overcome this telephone terror.
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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: Telephone Terror
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 05:36:04 AM »
It is all about stopping yourself, taken a step back, deep breath and doing everything at your own pace. That includes the telephone as well. I hate the phone. I can be like a stuttering wreck. Thing is I don't stutter as a rule. So I never rush myself. If we do that we will trip over our words. It is like getting everything out as quickly as possible. Just get it over with. But that is the wrong way. That is when we botch up. I know people don't like to see workers slacking off. But there is no rule about slowing yourself down. If a person is yelling down the phone at me I simple tell them that yelling makes it harder to hear them. I bring them down to my pace. I slow everything down. I do this when I am in shops as well. I never care what the person serving me thinks. This is my way of saying ' I am in full control '. Dictate the pace. Tell others to calm down or slow down so you can hear them and sort their issues out a lot easier for them. That, to me, would show a person who is in full control. Plus practice away from work. By ringing a friend or two. I don't fear the phone as much these days. Because I never let the caller dictate the pace. It is done in my own time and my own pace. That is simply what you need to do. Slow your whole world down. Take control of that world. At your own pace. If it means speaking slower, then so be it. Speak slower. Things will fall into place for you. You will see. Right now you are simply letting everything get under your skin.
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Offline alexa884

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Re: Telephone Terror
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 06:23:05 PM »
I hate the phone and dealing with angry or pushy customers, sometimes I even hate making calls, and I actually worked in customer service! Sometimes I wonder how I pulled it off for such a long time, answering one phone call after another,  basically doing nothing other than that for 8 hours everyday. When I finally quit that job it was heaven.

Aside from the fact that I had to answer calls from customers, the calls were in a language that is not my mother tongue, and you can't begin to imagine the noise of a callcenter with at least 70 people speaking at the same time. So I guess I know where you are coming from.

I don't really have a word of advice, I just wanned to tell you that you are not alone.
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