Monday, January 25, 2010

This is why I hate not having walls

I work in a newsroom.


Newsrooms are supposed to be buzzing centers of activity, with people shouting out leads and such, working together to get the best sources and info possible. So our desks are set up in a clump with 3/4-height mesh walls separating us. When it's quiet (which is more common than you'd think), we can all hear each others' conversations, clear as a bell.

It's so awkward.

Example:

Guy on the phone: Hi, this is Joe?
Me: Hi Joe, this is Dani--
Joe: I'm unavailable at the moment, please leave a message--
Me: Oh, whoops.
The collective newsroom: (Silently.) What an idiot.

Another example:

Answering machine: Please leave your message at the tone.
Me: Hi, Pam, this is Dani Grigg calling. I'm a reporter at the IBR and I am working on an article--
Answering machine: Your message has been recorded. To re-record, press 2.
Me: BLAAAHH! Stupid phone! (I press 2.) (In an obnoxiously loud voice so the answering machine doesn't cut me off again:) Hi, Pam, this is Dani Grigg calling. I'm a reporter.... yadda yadda yadda.
The collective newsroom: (Silently.) What an idiot.

And another example:

Me: (Insert idiotic question that shows limited to no understanding of the issue at hand and a sad inability to use basic English here.)
The collective newsroom: (Silently.) What an idiot.

See what I'm saying? Endless awkward possibilities.


9 comments:

The Boob Nazi said...

Sigh. I bet they don't think you're too big of an idiot.... haha

Kristin said...

Aw, your newsroom sounds kind of like the DU!

I really hate people within earshot of me on the phone, at any time.

Sometimes, when calling people from my cell, I press pound and then 3 (delete) after leaving a stupid or rambling message, and then I re-record it. I would guess 1 out of every, like, 9 voicemails from me is a second try. They only get worse though. It feels so stilted after the first time.

This is not an activity you can engage in with people listening.

just call me jo said...

My husband is forever talking to machines as if they are people, struggling to leave a message before the beep, after the time is up, and other disasters. Luckily, I'm usually the only one who can hear him. Being on display constantly has to be horrifying. I did get a great deal of pleasure reading about your pain.

Laurie said...

I am totally someone who gets phone shy, so I'm right there with you. I can't even be myself on the phone with Adam when someone else is there. Mostly because I have a childhood-leftover horror of being schmoopsy in front of other people.

Also, the login word was "pigan." Like pagan, but with more bacon.

Liz said...

One time, you should say something completely outrageous. Then they'll think, "She may sound as if she's a few bricks short of a load, but she's cool."

Chrissie said...

I can relate to many of the dilemmas you post on your blog. I hate speaking on the phone in front of others. I also feel the same way about talking on the metro/tube/other forms of public transportation in Europe. Take the tube for example--I'm already ashamed of my harsh American accent, and what I actually say just increases the chances of sounding dumb. For example, the other day I kept talking about the stop "Cannery Wharf," only to find out that it's actually "Canary Wharf." None of the other passengers within earshot ever corrected me, probably because it would be too awkward and they'd have to admit that they were eavesdropping on my conversation. Just one example.

Megan said...

Like my sister--I, too, I feel awkward talking on the phone in front of other people. When I was at BYU, I studied a lot in the econ building, and if I got calls in the lab, I would take my phone to the ladies bathroom--not even in the lobby--and talk on the phone there, looking at myself in the mirror whilst speaking, b/c looking in mirrors helps alleviate my phone paranoia for some reason. BAHAHAHAHA.

Alison said...

I hated having cubicles at the newsroom. my second job didn't even have cubicles, just desks. when I felt inhibited I would just wait until a co-worker picked up the phone and then make my own phone call. they can't silently think you're an idiot when they're having their own conversation!

草莓 said...

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