Friday, November 10, 2006

Just Returning Your Call

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when people don’t call me back. It doesn’t matter if it’s personal or professional--although when professional people don’t return calls it’s totally unprofessional and you probably shouldn’t do business with them. Doesn’t that sound like something the former (thank God) Secretary of Defense would say, and people actually listened. Anyway, there is really no excuse for not acknowledging a phone call. And there are any number of ways to do it. After all it is 2006 and we do have e-mail, voice mail and volunteers or assistants.

Democratic political people are notorious for not returning calls. Even when they ask you to do something and “please” they say, call them back. You do what they asked, and try to report the results. But do they take your call or ever return it? Not with any frequency. I have never found this to be the case with my Republican friends. I assume they either have better manners or are just anxious to talk to anyone who will talk to them. I can remember when I was working on one campaign, and a young man called to ask if, as a favor I could call a VIP with whom he was having no success. I said sure, and after I completed my assignment I called him back. A number of times because the VIP wanted to make a connection. Finally, I was so frustrated that I got in my car drove to campaign HQ, picked the phone up off his desk, handed it to him and asked if he had forgotten anything. No one is too important to return a call.

Admittedly, it’s different when friends don’t call back. First of all it hurts your feelings. You begin to think that you did something to upset or piss them off. Or you think you’re not important enough in their lives for them to take a minute or two just to say hello. Needless to say your dread about the reasons for the end of the friendship spirals out of control. And when they finally call you back you have worked yourself into frenzied hysteria.

In my answerless frustration I began to compose a form letter I would like to send to my close personal friends who obviously don’t care about me or at the very least, don’t have time for someone eternally colorful. Some are gender specific but names or physical conditions can be substituted whenever necessary.

Dear So and So,

I've been waiting to hear from you. It's been several days or more since I placed a call or maybe it was two, to you and I didn't want to keep bugging you so I came up with some possibilities listed below. Please check one or more, return and I will try to understand:

1. You’re pregnant and too embarrassed to tell me.
2. You’re dead and in Jewish tradition you already have been buried and David forgot to tell me.
3. John Kerry called you and wants you to run his come back campaign.
4. Jeb Bush is desperate to change parties and needs your help with introducing him around the democratic big wigs.
5. Your children had a sleep over and they tied you up, threw you in a closet, and forgot to provide you with a cell.
6. Someone caught you in bed with her boyfriend (girlfriend) aka Mrs Robinson and you’re trying to recover from the embarrassment.
7. You began learning how to "touch type" and your fingers are so cramped you can't even press a button on the telephone.
8. Dick Cheney was feeling lonely so you have been at the VP’s house providing advice and comfort.
9. You were kidnapped and being held captive by gypsies.
10. The gypsies were teaching you how to beg and dance—both uselful tools for the 2008 Presidential campaign.

Please feel free to use these add to them or invent some other way to get a response. On my list of how to be professional, courteous civil, or just a thoughtful friend, returning calls is probably very close to the top. We’re just sayin...


Anonymous said...

Iris, you are ever so true and correct on this point! I have been such a guilty party to this offence, and it's inexcusable. To not return a call, etc.,when someone cares enough to contact you, it borders on(and I am inventing a new phrase here, so stand back...)the "Culturily Criminal". Thanks! I usually don't thank someone for giving me (and others) a kick in the ass in the figurative form, but this is an exception to my rule. Hope you two have a great upcoming Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

I was looking around for a good excuse for this behavior because i dam well know i am dead guilty.
So I guess I will have to be honest.
Im still considering the "I had to buy a new phone" excuse because i did..But it was a few months ago.
So I guess I am an ass for trying to recover some hurt feelings afterward.its been almost a week.
Just another A Hole.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult if the phone truly doesn't give you the message for days at times. Once after weeks of checking messages each day..I had a new February, it said it was left in DECEMBER. It twice as frustrating as it is embarassing!