Last week I had the fantastic opportunity to interview a band I really like, so of course I was totally freakin’ excited – like, butterfly tummy excited. Yes, I’m a massive fangirl, and I do not have an ounce of shame. That was until I found out that the interview would be over the phone with the lead singer – cue unnerving, stay awake all night PANIC. The excitement quickly dissipated.
You see, not only am I a cringe-inducing fangirl when it comes to groups of men, possibly with tattoos, that can string lovely sounding rhyming words together whilst expertly playing some kind of instrument; but I’m also the world’s biggest wimp when it comes to holding a conversation over the phone with another human being. Why, you ask? Well actually, I can pinpoint the EXACT moment my telephone conversing skills were stripped from me, and I was never the same again…
(Harps play while the flashback sequence begin)
I was a shy child/mid-teen. Like, really shy. I liked books, quiet, and hanging out alone in my room in the quiet, reading a book – so I was never really good at talking to someone I had never met, especially if I couldn’t see actually see them.
One night during dinner with the family, we were talking about getting some kind of tickets – I can’t remember exactly what for – and it was agreed that we’d ring up the box office to ask about the prices for these mystery tickets (pre-iPhone days, basically the Stone Age). My mum knew I hated talking on the phone, but in an act that I can only assume was supposed to make me feel more confident at it, told me that I had to ring up an operator to get the number for the ticket box office. Terror flooded me – no bloody way was I doing that. Dream on sister, this family shenanigan would just have to be called off.
But you know how mums are, and eventually I was handed the phone and pressured into it by my WHOLE family – all sitting around the dinner table staring at me expectantly. I took the phone, dialled the number and basically tried to act super chill, until another person actually answered and spoke, and all the chill I had ever managed to muster up in my whole life helpfully vanished, instantly. In full panic mode, the conversation went something like this:
Operator: “Hello, how can I help you today?”
Me: “Oh… hello… can I have the number for the…”
Me: “CAN I HAVE THE NUMBER FOR THE BOCKY WOCKY?”
*hangs up in complete shock while whole family roars with laughter around me*
But it didn’t stop there. Determined to further my humiliation, my mum still insisted we simply HAD to have the number for this bloody box office. She then made me call back, APOLOGISE for hanging up, and do it all over again. It was a good three tries before I got the number, and by that time I was suitably not in the mood for whatever this important outing actually was.
(Harpy harp harp – end of flashback sequence)
I don’t know what the bocky wocky is, or why it came out of my mouth that day, but my family will not ever let me forget that phone call, and it still haunts me to this day, at 25 years old. To the point that I would literally (and I do not use that word lightly) rather die, than have to hold a phone conversation – especially if there will be other people, with working ears, who will be around to listen. When I worked in an office and my manager asked me to call someone, I would try every other method of communication possible before I had to do so, including carrier pigeon, smoke signals and morse code. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get away with this every time.
So back to the modern day, you can imagine the absolute wreck I was waiting for this guy to call me. I was shaking, I was panicking, and I had complained to everyone around me how I should never EVER have agreed to this in the first place. Strong music journalist I was not.
But d’you know what? It was fine! All the panic, all the stress, all was relieved by just having a conversation with a guy on the phone like he was an old pal – admittedly a pal that I have never met. Sure, the added pressure of recording it freaked me out, and I had to painfully listen to the whole thing back all over again, and there were moments where I definitely should have stopped talking, but I held my own! On the phone! With a rockstar! And I didn’t have to hang up in panic as a last resort!
I am definitely not cured of phone word vomit just yet, but I do have a whole new appreciation for my new fave band. I don’t know about you, but I think this means I’ve earned a gin.
Like this? Want to read the interview?