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Pick Up the Phone

January 15, 2015

Imagine this. 10s, 100s, and perhaps thousands of voices are rushing at you in an unwieldy crescendo. Now let the sound fade from your ears. There is no sound to hear, no face to see, no person who can help you make out what is being said. Sound has faded to a cacophony of text, unemotional, dry, and staid in a dreary, impersonal professionalism. Oh, and theres no time to rereard the text, or unpack the meaning contained in it. There is but 30 seconds perhaps to read. Perhaps less. Are you tired? Thirsty? Has your recent paycheck banked? Whats that notification from your boss? Wait… what was that meaningless garble of words saying?

Sounds like some sort of weird dream sequence from a bad movie, eh? Okay, what if I told you that there was a magical button that could get rid of the dreary text, and make a single voice resonate clearly? Surely, we’d all press it?

The scenario I described is the view from a reader of resumes. Hundreds of resumes for top notch positions.  Years of experience crammed into 2-3 dot-points. In text. No emotion, no time to explain.  Really, who gets thrilled by reading resumes? No one.

Lets change scene. Forget resumes. You want to catch up with a friend on Facebook. You send a message, but the timing doesn’t fit. And you’re both not online at the same time… so things drag on endlessly. Sarcasm doesn’t translate, so words become sentences. You seek to convey every little minute detail via text because you can’t do something as simple as point to a spot on a map.

Luckily, we have a magic button that we can press.

Pick up the Phone!

Work

Job searching? Pick up the phone! Trolling internet sites and filling in umpteen questionnaires and forms is dull! Why not give a call? Show your warmth with your voice. Tell them why you deserve the position. Don’t rattle off a page of text, ask if you can meet them for 5 minutes, that’s all. Let them see you – your smile, your enthusiasm, your smarts. Let them ask a few questions about your experience. You’ll sound better than you could in 10 words on a page!

More than that, you’re a person of initiative. You’re taking action. Instead of waiting for the job to come to you, you are being pro-active and taking the bull by the horns. That’s attractive to an employer.

In short, calling:

  • Gives you an immediate connection and chance to prove your worth
  • Lets you organise an interview
  • Shows initiative
    • Better yet, deliver a resume in person (where possible; don’t contradict company policies to the contrary!)

Event Planning

Recently I had a torturous time organising a visit for a friend to come over and play chess at my house. It was a complicated affair for a variety of reasons. It did not help that I was trying to convey things online.

When you speak over the phone:

  1. You can add depth to your words through tone, laughter and more
  2. You get quicker replies to your messages, aiding communication
  3. And, most importantly, its good to hear others speak! Don’t you want to hear another person speak to you?

This is especially so when you’re organising 1 to 1 events. When events get quite large, then Facebook becomes a powerful ‘crowd pulling’ tool and mass communication works. However, if you have a message to give, pick up the phone.

For example, if you want to ask someone out on a date, or organise a date with your partner, ask over the phone. Don’t send a Facebook message, a text message, or a happy emoticon… ask your partner out over the phone. (Or, better yet, in person)

Gentleman, if you have not the courage and honour to ask a lady out with your own voice, and instead prefer to hide behind the skirts of modern technology, are you really acting as the confident, well-mannered gentleman you should be? And ladies, if you do the asking, does not the same apply to you? How little can you think of them to not even speak to them?

In short, pick up the phone, organisers and romantics.

A Call to Action

Ladies and gentleman, I fancy myself an okay writer. I like to think I occasionally make sense with words. In fact, sometimes I have delusional flights of fantasy that I can write somewhat inspiring pieces of work. Maybe I’m not even delusional!

But words are merely words. I prefer speech. I wrote about men and virtue awhile back, but you could not hear my jesting tone, my theatrical voice, my garrulous words. They did not appear. Nor do you know of the time when I received a standing ovation by hundreds, when they were not compelled to stand, for my farewell speech as SRC President.

Ladies and gentleman, words have power, but our voices carry words on the wind, and give them sound. And then we have melodies, silences and cries.

Words are but a shadow of sound. When you speak through text behind a screen, you are but a flicker in the dark. When you speak, you shine.

And of course, if you see people in person, that light has a chance to shine brighter still.

When you pick up the phone, you make communication easier. You make warmer, and more human. You show initiative, you show you are proactive. You get a chance to shine that you don’t normally.

Ladies and gentleman, pick up the phone.

—-.

In our next posts, we’ll return to ecclesiastical history with a vigour!

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2 Comments
  1. While I do agree with you for the most part, there are a few problems with that. I tried going into chatswood and applying for a job today, and around half the stores I looked at refused to even take my resume, simply pointing me to the online applications.

    PS. I would seriously advise against asking someone out over the phone. If you’re going to do that, do it in person.

  2. Matt, I think we’re on the same page. When I mentioned the phone and asking people out, is basically “put some effort in, take some initiative, do it as ‘humanly’ as possible”. ‘Humanly’ referring to being human, you know, speaking, smiling etc. In short in person >>>> phone >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> text messaging etc.

    On jobs, some big companies refuse to take resumes because they are large enough to actually have automated services online. Lots of smaller companies, or big companies which have franchisees (eg IGA) don’t conduct applications online. And even if they do, for the reasons I mentioned, I think that a phone call can be better. You can spend hours filling in forms, questions online and get nowhere. Get on the phone, and you’re talking to them. In person is even better.

    Of course, no method is failsafe. Thats where persistence, and sheer number of applications count.

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