Today I slipped into an old habit--I avoided answering the phone. Back in the old time-y days before I had caller ID, I used to be forced to answer my phone or spend all day checking my messages to see who called. Oh hi! You're a debt collector. Why hello random crazy person! You're calling me to pitch me your script based on Batman, even though you don't own the rights to that character. Hey there telemarketer! Answering the phone used to be the office version of Russian Roulette. I had to handle things promptly or get busted for not completing work on schedule. It made me very accountable...to every agent, executive or writer I did business with. Now, with caller ID, I can avoid uncomfortable confrontations about my work ethic or schedule by simply not answering the phone...which only leads to procrastination on my end.
I will do anything out of fear. How sad is that?
Today, I knew who was calling--all sorts of people looking for work on the movie I'm hopefully doing this summer. With my trusty caller ID I could tell just by their out-of-town area codes that I don't want what they're selling. We don't have a production office open yet and since my company is listed in the Creative Directory, everyone from equipment rentals to out of work actors are calling me instead of the production supervisor who hasn't been hired yet. All. Day. Long. Which is a huge time suck-hole, because I have to be nice while I try and deflect their questions that I can't answer or don't want to answer. Actually, I don't have to be nice to anyone. Nobody has a gun to my head about that. Being mean to these callers would actually make my life easier as they wouldn't call me back "just to check in." Dealing with these cold calls is a huge time suck hole. But I can't help but be nice to these people who are just trying to get work, even though it's been eating up a huge portion of my day. So this afternoon, after a morning lost to random calls, I avoided being nice, didn't pick up the phone, and hid out in my office. Which is something, frankly, I'm not that proud of.