The Joys of Call Waiting

J Philip Faranda February 9, 2010

I think that most real estate professionals would agree that technology, for all it enables us to do, does not foster a more relaxed lifestyle. We live in an age where multitasking is so prevalent that we actually have to remind people that they need focus on the road when they are driving. I grew up on "please do not smoke" and "Don't drink and drive." Now, I hear Oprah devote shows to getting people to not text while they operate a moving car. Madness.

Call waiting is one of those things that can vex. It is an intrusion, welcome sometimes, unwelcome in others. Ordinarily, I try to not let another call interrupt a call I am on, opting to allow another piece of oft-misused technology, voicemail, to catch what I miss.  

However, there are times when I have to ask to take a call. It could be a bank calling on a short sale, a hard to reach attorney, or another equally urgent call that would be bad to miss.

Here's the problem: Some people can't grasp that when I either ask them to hold on or end the call to get the incoming call, that it would really help if they stopped talking. Only one person in my life besides my wife gets the " I have to take this call" thing, and she immediately says a cheerful 'goodbye!' so I can get the new call. Some people just keep talking. Some people decide to "wrap it up" with more eloquence. Yesterday I literally hung up on a soliciter who felt her pitch was more important to my earning a living. 

As rare and regrettable as it is, when I have to take another call I really need for people to either say that they'll hold or say goodbye. 

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