Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Growing Pains...

...and I'm not talking about the TV show. (but Mrs. Seaver was a hottie!)

No I'm talking about my struggles with becoming an actual adult. My main struggle is when I go to use the old trusty telephone.

I'm a pretty well spoken guy, I think I'm fairly social, and I rarely have trouble talking when having a conversation with another person...but whenever I pick up a telephone and call someone I don't know, I immediately have the public speaking ability of a 4 year old.

Well as you can imagine, these days I have been making lots of calls. I've been trying to get cable and electricity for my new place, and as my job duties pick up...I have to call more and more people for work.

Let me give you a few examples of how smooth I am on the phone.

Example 1: I am the commissioner of a Fantasy Football league. We are planning on having our draft on Wednesday and for the past few years we have done it upstairs at the Bearno's in the Highlands. So I thought I'd call and see if I could reserve the room again. Here is how the conversation went...I'm not kidding.

Ring...Ring...Ring

Bearno's Lady: "Thank you for calling Bearno's. How may I help you?"

Me: "Hi, I have...on Wednesday I was wondering...because we have a fantasy football...for like 2 hours upstairs...we do it every year at like 6 o'clock maybe?"

-deep breath-

"Hmmmm, let me try that again. I was wondering if I could reserve your upstairs room on Wednesday for a Fantasy Football draft?"

Bearno's Lady: "Uhhh, let me get my manager for you..."


Now, why was that so hard? I knew what I wanted to say...but it took me like 3 minutes and one restart to say one sentence! It ended up being no big deal, but you could tell my suaveness on the phone easily confused this poor unfortunate Bearno's lady....and made me feel like a moron.


Example #2 (work):

I'm starting to get more and more paralegal work at the office and with that I have to use the big boy phone more. First of all, I love using the office phone. I feel so important when I call and say, "Hey Rod, do you have the date of injury on this case?" or "Hey Dad, you ready to go to Q'Doba?" I mean I just feel like a big shot. However, I often have to call people who I don't know and ask them real lawyer stuff...the main problem is that I don't really know all the terminology. So when I call to get wage records from a client I have a hard time and it sounds like this.

Ring...Ring...Ring...

Client: "Good afternoon, this is Bethany."
Me: "Hi, may I speak to Bethany?"
Client: "Yeeeees, this is she"
Me: "Oh, well hello Bethany! I was wondering if you could maybe help me by giving me some of this person's financial records from when he worked at the company where he worked when he got injured?"
Client: "..."
Me: "I mean, I'm am Brian from so and so law firm and I was wondering if you could fax me the wage records for Mr. Jones?"
Client: "Oh, is that all you need? That's no problem, I'd be happy to send them."
Me: "Thanks for your help (sorry I'm a moron)"

I mean really...how hard is that? I eventually get it, but without a doubt I will get nervous and toungue tied and then I will look like a moron. In fact I have such bad anxiety that I often feel like hanging up the phone anytime I call someone and they answer, just like Steve Carrell in 40 Year Old Virgin. Also, I always plan out in my head exactly what I want to say...and then the panic sets in when they answer... and I just blow it.

I should just really let it flow from now on...just say what I want and not worry about what I sound like. Oh well, I guess the more I do it the better I will become...it is just going to take a few more painfully awkward conversations before I really sound like I know what I'm talking about.

Song of the Day: Ben Sollee - How To See The Sun Rise (This dude is a cellist and he's goooood!)
Beer of the Day: Flying Dog - Gonzo Imperial Porter

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