Weekend Assignment #54: Tell us all a single piece of wisdom you've learned from personal life experience. It can be a small thing, it can be a big thing, a simple tip or trick or the most important thing you've ever learned from life. But whatever it is, you should be able to state it in one sentence. That way people will remember it easier.
Extra Credit: Tell us: Would you have listened to your own bit of advice as a teenager? Be honest, now.
"I'm sure there was a saying you learned that you have used ever since to govern your life. A motto, a watchcry..."
--J. Bowden Hapgood, Simple in Anyone Can Whistle by Stephen Sondheim
Okay, I have a serious philosophical sentence, and a pet peeve one. So I did this assignment twice. This is the pet peeve one.
Short version: "People only phone you at home."
Long version: "If a doctor's assistant, insurance adjuster, or anyone else you need to hear from has three phone numbers for you, he or she will typically ignore the cell phone and the work phone, and leave a message at your home number, in the daytime while you're at work."
Why is this? It happened to me again today! You know I've been waiting for nearly a week for news on whether my car will be totaled. Well, today I had messages on voicemail at home from
1) Enterprise, wanting to know how good the service was when I picked up the rental on Friday, and
2) *Mumble* at Viking Insurance Auto Claims, wanting to know whether I plan to have my car fixed by Maaco.
Well, gee, folks, does that mean you're not totaling my car after all? Do you think you can call on my Sprint phone or at work, and let me know what the heck is going on so we can get the car taken care of? How many of us (retired people, SAHMs and JS excepted) are typically home in the middle of a weekday?
Plus, I found an appointment card in my purse today for a physical exam from my doctor.
- Appointment made: January.
- Appointment date and time: 4/7/05, 9:30 AM.
- Appointment card found: 4/7/05, 12:30 PM.
- Reminder call from the doctor's office: none.
And they're going to charge me a no show fee!
My new appointment is in July. I hope I remember to go!
Extra Credit: Would I have believed in this phone problem as a teenager? Well, back then, there was no such thing as voicemail, email, cell phones or PCS. A home phone with an answering machine was the only option if you wanted to call a teenager, and back then there were still lots of housewives to answer home phones. But even in 1974, I wouldn't have thought it reasonable to only call my mom at home, at a time when you knew she was probably at work.
And it's even less reasonable now. What's the point of carrying a phone around with you, if people don't even try to reach you that way? Are they intentionally trying to delay the communication? Or do they simply not look to see whether there's more than one number given, and go for the first number in the file or database?
John thinks I should just refuse to give these people the home number. It only encourages them to use it.
Update: they totaled my beloved Saturn after all. Somebody at Viking decided the car was "not repairable." I'm told that the settlement division will call me with a figure "next week." By then, Samatha advises me, I need to have a decision in place about whether I'm fixing the car anyway with the settlement money. Talk about contradictions! And oh, good--more stress! And I bet they'll call the home phone again, when they finally decide how much money to offer--a number that almost certainly won't get me back to where I was a week ago Wednesday.