Phone calls are a connection with the outside world. They can save a life. They can connect you to family and friends. They can be job related. They can be calls from Nigerian princes wanting to fleece you of your hard earned money. They can be congratulating you on winning a competition you entered. They can be good news and bad. They can be reminders of appointments. Although nowadays reminders are texts or emails. Automated to be more efficient.
“No Caller ID” lights up your phone when it rings. Do you answer it?
I do at the moment. I have appointments and deliveries and pick ups to co-ordinate so I pick up. Normally I wouldn’t.
So I was sitting down in a restaurant to eat a cheese burger. My first outing in six weeks. What do I do when the meal arrives. I answer the phone.
What I should have done was this. Answer the phone and ask the caller to call back in half an hour. And if I feel the need to give an explanation I say that I’m just about to eat lunch. Done. Then hang up and eat.
What I did was answer the call, never mentioned the food, being time sensitive, and slowly getting cold in front of my eyes. I replied in all the right places and continued the short call, but I did not concentrate as I was thinking the entire time of the burger in front of me. I hung up at the end of the call. I remembered none of the important information. I can’t say it was multi-tasking I was attempting. It was single tasking poorly. I was distracted. I was considering the other person at the end of the phone over myself. I was attempting to be polite.
In actual fact I was believing I was being polite by staying on the line. I was not respecting myself. I was not respecting the other person either. I wasn’t listening. It was not a conversation. Talking was involved but I was not listening. It was the pretence of interaction. I was not mindful of the conversation. I was not present in the conversation. I was there yet I was not.
I was not respecting the person who made the burger. I was not respecting the person I was with at the table.
DISRESPECT all around.
I can do better.
I know my behaviour is learned behaviour. It is behaviour I want to unlearn. I have observed myself and my actions. I do not like the actions. I know of better actions I can do to replace this automated behaviour. It will take practice. I am willing to change. I can do better.
One good choice at a time.