CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

How to use the telephone ...

Device to speak at a distanceA simple guide for idiots:

If you have a conversation on the telephone, speaking loudly, with the internal doors of a modern bungalow open so that any persons living in the same area can and do overhear the entire call (and not for the first time and you know they can hear, because they've been able to repeat, verbatim, snippets from previous calls), then it's probably not going to be necessary for you to report the conversation you just had.

If the conversation had absolutely nothing to do with the other person, they don't need to know and there's absolutely no need to bother them with it.

If the other person already hears all your conversations anyway, despite the fact that they don't need to know anything about them, they certainly don't need to be disturbed to be told every detail of every single call (that is of no interest or concern to them), every time your phone rings!

If, however, you decide to ignore all this advice, then please have the sense to realise that, as the person already heard every word, they will know that what you report bears absolutely no resemblance to what you really said.

Regular readers already know who did this today, don't you?

Since she appears to willfully refuse to hear the above any logic, let's try putting it on the internet and seeing if she can pick it up by remote osmosis or something, because I am well beyond my friggin wits end with her.

On the phone, she's all "Yessir, no sir, that's quite alright, no problem ..."

According to her fantasy, fictional report of this same call (being relayed only moments after she's hung up), apparently, she was all assertive and told them in no uncertain terms exactly what she thought about their total inefficiency.

Not even in her dreams. I heard what she said. And assertive it wasn't.

She's never done assertive.

One of HER friend's asked me the other day:

"... or doesn't she do normal?"

No, she's never done normal either! :)

Nor have I, but at least I'm willing to admit it.

Anyway, I digress ...

The discrepancy between the actual call and the report of it was so wide, you could have driven a double-decker bus through it, sideways. It renders my apparent "talent" in being able to spot liars almost superfluous.

How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

Leave a message and I'll get back to you ...

Even - especially not - when you don't answer your phone and the answering machine does, you do not need to go to tell the person in the same house - what's more disturb them to do so - that the phone rang so many times, but the answering machine clicked in - all in the 3rd person, passive voice (everything is, calculatedly, so it won't be something she did or didn't do) and in a tones of near panic that infers this is some sort of major problem.

One, because the person already heard that for themselves. Obviously.

Two, that's what answering machines are supposed to do.

If you can't get to the phone fast enough to answer it first, place the phone nearer to your person. It does not need to always be on the base station: it will last 6 whole days "unhooked". You've been told this. Grasp it.

Why doesn't this "other person" answer your phone? That's a very good question, the main answer to which basically boils down to your insistence that there are incoming scam calls these days that somehow magically charge your line after so many seconds, just by calling you, without you needing to dial a number. So, you have to be really, really, really, really careful.

Of course, I couldn't have learned to be really, really, really, really careful about anything during the 25 or so years I lived alone, now could I?

Those of us from planet earth know this is a total "load of ball bearings" as my mate would put it, but there's no telling you anything, is there?

The remedy: I won't answer your phone and then I can't be wrong.

Well, I will be wrong, just by breathing, but it's one less thing.

All concept of reasonableness, is lost ...

Later, I go to the shop, I come back, she's Hoovering. No problem (well, apart from the wide open windows and scared loose cats, which she tried to make me feel responsible / guilty for / insisted wasn't a problem and whined that "they weren't out of bed when I started"), but I couldn't care less if she's "still" Hoovering or not and fail to see the point of the next diatribe ...

The reason for this (I didn't know it was one) "delay," is because her friend rang up and the friend always goes on and on and you "can't" stop her.

(I wonder if the friend has any idea how "grateful" mother is for her calls?)

"Well, you just have to tell people you have to ...", says I.

At this point - remember in the last breath she's said a) this woman "can't" be stopped and b) the whole "point" (if it were one) of this was to report a "delay" - now mother claims, "Oh yes, I HAD TO tell her ..."

Echoing stuff back, using the exact same format, is a very clear indication that someone is lying and I've noticed lately that my mother has been sounding like a veritable Polly Parrot. Not to brag or anything, but I really do know from experience that there's no way she even knows about, let alone does half the things I've suggested that she's echoed back and suddenly "always done".

There's no point saying, "You can't have, because ...", because mother will just blank - fail to react to - that, because it's not what her fantasy says.

Of course, these are small matters of themselves and are entirely laughable, but I think I can now see the pattern, understand what she's doing and why she does it. Following along the same logic I was exploring yesterday, all her fantasy stories appear contrived to make her appear better than she is.

The "assertiveness fantasy" about the first phone call demonstrates that very clearly. It's a trait anyone is likely to feel they would be respected for.

My short course in psychology at Birmingham University gave me a decent "feel" for the subject, but I recognise that I am not qualified in it. Despite that, frankly, I don't think I need to be to, once again, conjecture that, this has all the hallmarks of pathological lying. The conditions exist (if what I've been told of my mother's childhood is correct), but I feel this is not "just" compulsive lying, because she certainly is manipulative, cunning and self-centered.

This is like one 10th of the crap she throws at me on any given day. My head is constantly pounding with stress headaches and I don't think I needed to be an expert to know that:

"Often when you associate with a liar, you can feel like you’re losing your mind, so to protect your own sanity, seek help."

And that, most definitely, has to be my next step.

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Photo: Teléfono Capgros "Device to speak at a distance."

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