Jeni Marinucci: Panic Button Years


Get Your Sh*t Together: Make a Dreaded Phone Call

Get Over Yourself Already

How to Make a Dread Phone Call

We all have "that call" we need to make. Even the most extroverted among us have that one thing - that one call - they've been putting off for weeks, months, possibly even years. I've had things go embarrassingly long before, where it got to the point that I had to plan my social schedule around avoiding people I owed return phone calls to. I was down to visiting the laundromat at 3am the next town over when I realized I had better get my shit together on this front, and fast.

But I didn't want to make the call, and neither do you. 


Tough. Do it anyway. 

I hate talking on the phone, and with email and text accessibility it's getting harder and more hated. I order my pizza by app, and I pay my bills online. I have no fond memories of all-night gab sessions with teenage girlfriends because I am a "in your face all up in your space" person and I translate best in 3D where you can see that my eyes are tender when I am telling you to get your shit together. 

I bet you do things exponentially harder than making a difficult phone call every day. Maybe your job requires bravery, or your set of in-laws are particularly trying, or maybe you have a kid nicknamed "Scream in a Diaper." Those things are way harder than punching in 10 numbers and using your sound hole for 10 minutes. 

If you have several of these calls to make, start a list. Leave a few lines of space under each entry. In fact, start a list even if you only have one item. Let me prompt you in case you think you're in the clear: 

  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Parent/Teacher Meeting
  • Test Results
  • The professional acquaintance you owe an apology to because of the "incident" at the staff holiday party 
  • Taxation Office
  • A divorce lawyer consultation 
  • Your Gramma, you ungrateful asshat

You're intelligent; you know how time and calendars work. Every day you put this phone call off is one more day you are carrying the weight of an undone task in your pocket. EMPTY YOUR POCKETS SO YOU CAN KEEP CANDY THERE.

I can almost guarantee that the call will not be as bad as you think. Our brains are amazing and creative and sometimes wacky places where the smallest things become huge and seemingly insurmountable. Your brain is being an asshole right now. Give the controls to your fingers to make the call. 

Not calling for a test result is not going to change the outcome. Not calling to request a school meeting is not helping your child to read more effectively. Not calling the tax office is one more day of interest payments with no plan for repayment, and not calling your grandmother is more day she's sitting at home thinking her Boopy doesn't love her anymore. 

Basically, you're a monster. 

Now - look at your list. If there is more than one entry, then start at the top. Chances are your brain prioritized the list for you, and the top entry is the one you've been dreading the most. We're starting here. If you don't have the numbers handy, get them now and even if they are in your phone, write them down next to the item. On the space under each entry, write down what materials you need for each call, like a tax roll number, your child's teacher's name, a gin and tonic. You're 10 minutes in at this point. You've made a time investment. YOU NEED TO PRESS ON. 

Next, place to make the call. If it's to a government agency, make sure you have child care plans stretching all the way to University drop off. Once you commit to making this call we are seeing it through and this list is NOT going on the fridge. You are going to make at least one call today and maybe more if you're feeling sassy. We're grown ups and we have our shit together! Get a doodle pad and make notes or doodles if it calms you. 

1. Call the number. 

2. Call back. (I know you hung up.)

3. Call back again. (Come on; I am so on to you.) 

4. Say hello, state your request, and actively listen to the response. This is the hard part, but you are doing great! You are on the phone and no one can see you. You could pee your pants and no one is going to be the wiser. If your phone call results in further action, or an appointment, write it down right this very minute or enter it into your phone or Google Calendar with an alarm set for the day before, the morning of, and the hour preceding the event. We're not going through this bullshit again. 

Now, be honest: Don't you feel better?


Look at you, adulting on the telephone! 

If you are still absolutely frozen, well, no judgement. There's always email. 




RELATED: How to Get Your Sh*t Together