Monday, April 27, 2009

Psychosis or Paranoia?

Listening to my voice mails today, I came to a scary realization.

First, a note about me and voice mails. We don't go together. I detest voice mails. If you need to reach me, call. If I don't pick up, either I will call back, or I really don't want to talk to you, in which case, the most urgent message in the world won't make me call you back.
If you have something really important to tell me, and I don't pick up my phone, text me. If you don't text- tough. Get with the program. This is the 21st century after all.
Anyhow, I am generally happiest with a full voicemail box. Therefore, I don't listen to messages, rather, I let them accumulate. At some point, my voice mail box fills up, and people are unable to leave me messages. This is a very joyous state of affairs for me. Unfortunately, what usually follows that is an email from my boss saying something along the lines of "I tried to reach you bit your voicemail was full". Sometimes the trouble manifests itself through my father telling me, in a very grouchy tone of voice, that it is highly unprofessional, not to mention annoying, to let your voicemail get to the point where people can't leave messages on it. So I listen. It can be painful, with over 20 messages at a time, but I did it today.
And that's when I realized that I know some people who exhibit severely psychotic behavior. Yeah, I know that sounds scary, but how else can you explain the following scenario?
I was out with some friends. And believe it or not, me, the queen of being reachable, left her phone in the car. In truth, it was half on purpose, because we were spending quality time together, and my friends have been known to confiscate my cell phone on such outings.
So we got back to the car, and I had a joyous reunion with my cell phone. The missed alerts light was blinking, so I took a look. Suddenly, I felt enormously popular. After a mere two hours, I had 19 missed calls and six voice mails.
My ego took a big hit when I realized that they were all from one person. No, I am not making this up, nor am I exaggerating. Seriously, she had something to ask me, she deemed it urgent. And so she called. And called. And called. And called. Nineteen times.
I can't help but wonder what her thought process was at the time. Did she think that I was avoiding her calls, but if she called enough I'd get the hint and pick up? Like, on the eighteenth call I still didn't realize she was desperate to talk to me, but once she called nineteen times I got the message. Shame she didn't call twenty times in that case...
Did she think I couldn't find it in my bag, and it took nineteen cycles of rummaging to the musical accompaniment of my ring tone till I found it?
Did it honestly not occur to her that I simply did not have my phone in the car with me, and that calling nineteen times would kill my cell phone battery, but not make my phone fly out of the car and into where ever I was?
And if you think this is a solitary occurrence, or a fallacy committed by only once acquaintance, you are sadly mistaken. Obviously, this is an extreme example, but this happens all the time. I leave my phone charging for an hour, and come back to find four missed calls from the same person. Four? What in the world did they think they would accomplish with the second third and fourth phone calls?
I am not a psychologist, so I won't try to diagnose my friends, but seriously, think about this. Is it sane behavior? Am I just paranoid?
Can anyone else try to make heads or tails of all this?

21 comments:

chanie said...

The comment note: a) if I'm on this page, it's to leave a comment. b) Thanks for encouraging lengthy comments. c) No, it didn't sound desperate, just odd.

Now, for the post: I will call two or three times, because I was raised in a house where only on the second try did you have a chance of getting through. That's how long it takes to find the phone. Nineteen is a little outrageous, though.

Also, join the club. I often leave my phone behind on purpose, and usually don't bother checking messages. Reasoning: If it's important, they'll call back. If it's someone I want to talk to, either they'll call me back or I'll call them. If not- glad I missed it.

nmf #7 said...

Agreeing with Chanie- I grew up in a house where I was lucky to get answered on the 5th call, third ring...and sometimes it took 7 calls to get someone to finally answer. Oh, and voicemails were never returned. Never.

But, 19 is outrageous. Most I'll call these days is 3.

Sometimes, while driving, I need the 2nd phone call to give me enough time to find the phone and situate myself to answer it.

Floating Reflections said...

Lol! Yep 19 is a bit much although i will admit to doing three as my friends often leave their phones all over and it is only if they are near that they will hear them, that being said, I don't do it one after another.

With regards to my own phone I took off messages as I felt like you that if I am unavailable they could either call again or send a text and I am happy with it. It's actually the first thing I do when I get a new one. :)

halfshared said...

I also believe in the "try once" theory. That's what caller-id is made for. If they are available, they'll pick up. If not, they'll call back just as soon as they are. It boggles my mind when I receive numerous calls and texts within 5 minutes of each other by the same person. I mean, how desperate can you be?
Oh, and I leave my phone all over the place all the time. Nobody ever died because I didn't pick up on first try.

Something Different said...

Chanie- a: you never click just to see what other people say? b: my pleasure. Anytime. c: thanks. I always knew I was odd. ;)
and I understand what you're saying about needing to call a house twice, but wouldn't you say a cell phone is different?
And I don't generally leave my phone behind, but certain friends don't let me use it when I'm with them, so I remove temptation... ;-)

NMF- ok, I hear you. I can see why the second call would be considered excusable. But three or more is just OCD if you ask me...

FR- do we have that option in the US? Ooh the joy of no voicemails... I. Am. So. Jealous. :-P

Something Different said...

HS- yeah, it's hilarious. My phone has been really sick lately, and is constantly on her deathbed, so I don't really keep it around like I used to. Now the entire world thinks I am avoiding them and I am mad at them... :-p
So I tell them I am avoiding them. And now that they figured it out, please stop calling. LOL.

Floating Reflections said...

Not sure about your phone but I can tell you how I do it. My make of phone is a Nokia - other phones are prob different. I go into Settings and Phone settings and then cancel all diverts - this means that unanswered calls will not be diverted to my voicemail. SO I guess technically I still have it but it is never used and cannot be used but I can also go back and reset the divert should I wake up one morning and decide that I have a sudden need to be driven mad today ;)

Child Ish Behavior said...

People do this all the time. They call and call and hope that eventually something will change and that they will eventually will get an answer. Nu Nu, not the worst thing in the world, the worst thing would be getting lifted up by a tornado and getting thrown 100 feet into a cell phone tower, that would really be death by cell phone.

Something Different said...

FR- I looked though my phone settings and didn't see any option for that. :-( I guess I am destined to have people drive me nuts for the foreseeable future...

CIB- LOL. That was rather dramatic. Do you know someone who that happened to? ;-)

Inspired said...

19 times, gosh. She must've been really desperate.

Something Different said...

Insp- she was. And the funniest part was that I remember thinking (when she called the 20th time and I had already been reunited with my phone so I was able to pick up) that it was seriously a very little thing and could have waited a week...most definitely an hour...

Scraps said...

Heh. That only happened to me once, I think, when one night in seminary I left my phone in my apartment and proceeded not to return for the entire night (I was in another apartment in the school). I came back and had soooo many missed calls! Apparently they were all worried and were trying to reach me...but if they heard my phone ringing in the next room, why did they keep trying? That's the part I don't get. However, at least they had a reason to be calling me a million times. Your friend, on the other hand...19 is just crazy.

chanie said...

SD- a) Never thought of that, lol.
Nope, cell phones aren't different- they get lost just as easily as house phones, and if they were left on silent, harder to locate....
I don't generally do it, either, but if I can't find it, or forgot to take it, I won't turn back. It's better without it...

Something Different said...

Scraps- it's good for the ego, eh?
And yeah, this girl is a little odd. This was just one small example of it... :-/


Chanie- Yeah...there have been a number of times when I wanted to flush my phone down the toilet... I like being unreachable.

G6 said...

I just saw this on VIN and thought of you, lol............
Maybe somebody on the VIN News Team has been reading your blog ;)

Something Different said...

G6- of course they read BOSD!! Who doesn't? And if they don't...their loss. ;)
But really...wow. That means that I am doing something wrong?? I return about 1% of voice mails. (To my boss. LOL.)

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

It's funny to be reading this after the Psak about returning messages.

I actually like voice mail. I'd rather somebody leave me a message so that I know why their calling, for when I get back to them.

It's funny cause I would think the same thing, when my sister's friend calls her on the house phone 20 times in a row, thinking it will make a difference.

the only thing I can think of, is that if people have phones on vibrate or silent. My phone is always on vibrate, so if I'm away I don't here it, then if I come back to it, I don't always think of checking to see if I missed something, so if somebody calls again then I might feel it vibrate that time and know to pick it up and check for missed alerts.

(My friend called me to say that she's pregnant and I was speaking to her for a while, so I ran out of time to read the other comments of what people had to say, and I have to go to class now, so I'll finish this up later)

Something Different said...

JSB- I wasn't talking about calling again the next day or something. I just meant calling repeatedly with no break. And my phone is also always on vibrate, so I guess I can excuse the second call, but three or more is odd.

Chani said...

I hate when my aunt calls me 10 times and leaves 3 messages when i think i'm recieving the call i've been waiting for all night and in no mood for babysitting!!!

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Something Different: yea I know what you mean, about calling repeatedly, that's what I was referring to too, I think.

word verification: muteam - mute am - mute the rings!

Something Different said...

Chanie- Was that inspired by something specific that happened? LOL! I know what you mean tho, its awful.

JSB- yeah, ugh