I have always used phones at work but it was only the other day that I got to thinking about how they have changed over the years, and how this has helped me enjoy my career. We never had a phone at home when I was growing up, so I was a little bit worried when I had to use one for the first time.
The Giant Phone
My first job saw me sitting at a small desk with a giant, old fashioned phone perched on it. I lasted a couple of years there but I never did work out how to transfer calls or pick up other people’s phones. There was some sort of secret code – ##232# or something similar – but I was always so amazed to hear the phone ring that I would be too startled to mark the code. You see, we had very few phone calls, so it allowed me to get into the habit. I enjoyed the few calls I answered and it made me realise that the phone wasn’t to be feared, even if the long, coiled cable always seemed to end up horribly twisted after every call.
Next, I moved into a sales job and got given a fancy headset. I felt very sleek and professional when I put this on for the first time. A new call would cause a beep in my ear and the display would tell me how long I had been talking for. I wasn’t that great at selling but I really enjoyed using the phone. We would get a print out at the end of the month with our call statistics and I used to like going over them. This job got me used to speaking to customers directly and I found that it gave me a lot of confidence in using the phone to build relationships. It even helped me become more comfortable using my new home phone.
A Mobile Meeting
The first day I got given a mobile phone at work was pretty exciting. It made me feel rather important actually, or at least until I realised that everyone else in the office had already been given one. With this new technology I could attend meetings wherever I was. I can clearly remember one day sitting out in the park across from the office. When a plane flew pretty low overhead my boss starting asking where everyone was. Clearly, as a seasoned professional I covered the phone with my hand and bolted across the road to my desk. Despite this, I enjoyed the freedom which working with a mobile phone gave me.
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