Why Is That Some Phone Calls Bring Out My Dark Side?


I like to think of myself as a fairly calm, easygoing sort of guy. There’s not many things that bother me.


Except when I get into a phone conversation with someone who doesn’t see things my way (and by my way I mean the right way…)

I’ve had two such instances this week.

The first was with a investment adviser I’ve had to deal with as a result of being the executor for my mom’s estate. The process seems to be taking way too long to get settled, and I didn’t think some of the investments he had made on my mom’s behalf were appropriate. I tried to explain these things to him as calmly as I could, but at some point in the conversation things went south and the adviser told me he was transferring the account to the home office and so in the future there would be no need for me to call him anymore. I was fine with the outcome, I just wish I could have been more professional with him.

The second phone call was with a health insurance company. A couple of months ago there had been some confusion regarding coverage, and when I spoke to someone at that time, I was told there was nothing to worry about. Today we got something in the mail saying the exact opposite. So I called the company to try and get it resolved, but after a few minutes I was transformed into an obnoxious, snarky jerk. When it didn’t turn out the way I thought it should have, I asked for a supervisor. She was able to look back at the notes from my January conversation and she admitted that it appeared that there was a mistake on their end. Please note that she did not use the word mistake, but said that the company “had to do a  better job training its employees”. Despite admitting this, the company, from my perspective, was still not willing to accept responsibility for the error. I let the supervisor know this, and probably not in the most tactful way.

Once I hang up from these sorts of phone calls, the regret usually starts kicking in pretty quickly. Now mind you, I’m not screaming or cursing or anything like that during these phone calls, but I realize that I am being quite the jack*ss;  I just can’t seem to help myself. I’ve often wondered what sort of notes they may make about me after such a conversation. I’m sure I would be embarrassed to see what they’ve written about me.

So my apologies to the people who have had to deal with me on the phone. That’s not how I normally act; for some reason you bring out the worst in me.

Maybe I need a Snickers bar.

There is one good thing that comes out of these phone calls though. With all of the pacing that I do, there’s no need for me to get a cardio workout in later.

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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