I'm not a technophobe. Far from it actually. And my problem is something that may be peculiar to me, caused by the fact that I'm both single (most of my friends aren't) and the fact that I work from home. Oh yeah, and the ever-present nature of the cell phone.
In a nutshell, most of my friends call me during their commute.
I have a great deal of flexibility in my schedule, and they know it, so chatting with them on their commute was okay at one time. Now, on a bad day, someone will call me during the 7-8 hour, someone else during the 8-9 hour and even someone during the 10-11 block. These are not "Hey, let's do lunch on Saturday " quickies, but full-blown get-me-to-my-destination rambles. Sorta kills my morning…
To make matters worse, some of my friends ONLY call during their commute, and break it off once they reach their destination, even when that destination is home. So I'm starting to feel a bit used. Like a call-in radio dj with only one caller for the hour. Something to dull the monotony of freeway traffic.
Don't get me wrong: I LOVE these people and want to hear from them. And as a former commuter, I totally understand the practicality of commuter conversations, but maybe breaking the conversation off, no matter how beautiful my current rant, just because you've arrived home, is rude. Maybe I'm right to feel a bit put upon. Maybe a little sensitivity goes a long way.
Rather than making my feelings known, I've taken the easy way out and answer very few calls between 7-10 am and 4:30 - 6:30 pm. Unless I really need to talk to the person or they're returning my call, I generally let it ring. Maybe I should change my voice message:
"Hey, this is me. Sorry I missed your call. If you're calling between 7-10 am or 4:30-6:30 pm, leave a message. If you just want to chat, cool, but please call back outside these hours."
Man, I could rack up some serious rollover minutes!