Everything is Okay

It seems like a large number of people do not enjoy talking on the phone. I hear some people yapping on about why those darn kids are all into text messaging these days and why don’t they just pick up the phone. And while I myself am not a big “texter,” I certainly understand the appeal. I am one of those folks who does not like to talk on the phone.

Email is my best friend. There is no talking. There is no awkward silences while I grope around for another topic or keep rehashing the same topic again and again (my most used and humiliating ploy). There is just a nice non-talky email that I can write as quickly or as slowly as need be and that I can reply to at my leisure. I love you, Gmail. You are indeed my second soul mate (Bart being the first, of course, even though I cannot set auto-filters on him to neatly categorize my correspondence and delete J.Crew ads without me having to see them. But then, Gmail rarely cleans the shower.)

Anyway, when I do have to talk on the phone, particularly for non-personal-type calls when someone calls me and needs something (and why are people calling me with needs anyway? don’t they see that I have needs and those needs include not speaking on the phone?) I have come to recognize that “okay” is the most powerful word in my lexicon.


It stops those chatterers in their tracks. They think “‘okay,’ what? Did I just agree to something? Is she taking care of my problem? I better get of this phone call now, because I clearly have no idea what in tarnation is going on” (obviously the people I talk to on the phone say things like “tarnation.” Don’t you speak to people like that?).

Once I’ve understood what the point of the phone call is (or ascertained that there is in fact, no point) or agreed to do something, I say “okay.” And we’re done. They figure 1) I understand, 2) I will take care of it and 3) and I am ready to go. Brilliant!

Occasionally, of course, it doesn’t work (this plan is not foolproof – what do you take me for?). A gentleman today responded to my firm and polite “okay” with a “what’s okay? Is everything okay?” Friends, there is no where to go from there. You must start over and try again from the top. And then weep bitterly at the failure of your beloved “okay.”

Also, Mom. You can keep calling. I will never “okay” you.

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  • Reply Bart Bradshaw August 15, 2007 at 1:00 am

    You want me to filter J-Crew ads? Okay. I’ll filter ’em. 😉

  • Reply chloe elizabeth August 15, 2007 at 1:05 am

    I love your posts and I am a fan of “okay” and I could post an entire soliloquy on the reasons people text. In fact, I just might.

  • Reply smarteze August 15, 2007 at 1:53 am

    I have a problem… I don’t like talking to people on the phone at work. IM me, email me, just don’t call me! Unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s much I can do to stop people from calling me, except for trying to evade their phone calls in the first place…

  • Reply Amber August 15, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Oh, I’m so going to start using “OK” a lot more often now, because I hate the phone with a vengeance. I don’t even like IM, because I seem to have this problem thinking and speaking at the same time. If it wasn’t for email, I’d probably communicate with no one…

  • Reply Gretchen August 15, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    I’m going to have to try this “okay” thing. I am definitely not a big fan of the phone most of the time. Just email/IM me! Our Realtors were I think a little surprised when we asked them to please communicate with us by email and not phone whenever possible. But how else could Marshall and I have “talked” to them at 11pm?!?!?

  • Reply Ralphie August 15, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    I’m on the fence with phone chatting. I have a sister-in-law that I could stay on the phone with for hours. But she carries a conversation well. Gretchen is another one I could chat with for sometime. But I’m not gifted with the talent of graceful converstation so if you did an “okay” to me I would most definately shut up! Thank goodness you love email as much as I, my true friend.

  • Reply Terri B. August 15, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    I didn’t realize there were so many other people out there who tried to avoid phone conversations! I’ve conveniently left my work phone set to “forward to voicemail” for a few days past my vacation. Oops. ;o)

  • Reply Abbie August 15, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    The concept of the “okay” is intruguing.
    I have the “this caller would like you to leave a message” message – on my phone- after the first ring.
    “Okay” sounds cheaper, but time consuming, so is texting. Still I have to go ponder…hmmmm

  • Reply Ginger August 17, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    I love email too! And I really do hate talking on the phone because I’ve always had to spend so much time at work on the phone. My mother and I have discovered Google Chat and we love that, too! And the IM thing? If it keeps them (kids) from walking around with a phone to their ear all the time I’m all for it!

  • Reply Megs August 19, 2007 at 7:42 am

    This line is brilliant: “I love you, Gmail. You are indeed my second soul mate (Bart being the first, of course, even though I cannot set auto-filters on him to neatly categorize my correspondence and delete J.Crew ads without me having to see them. But then, Gmail rarely cleans the shower.)”
    And I just added it to my favorite quotes on facebook. Congratulations Janssen. You’re famous.

  • Reply Melissa Clarkson September 8, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    What a brilliant idea. I relate to this post so much. I hate talking on the phone, in large part because I find it really hard to exit the conversation gracefully or without feeling guilty that I am somehow offending the other party by not wanting to continue talking with them. So I sit there, a captive audience, while the anxiety and stress mount as I watch the clock. I am going to try your "OK" method next time. Thanks for the tip!

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