Yes, I actually have a phone policy.
This tweet has been doing the rounds on social media lately:
Quite a few dear friends have been kind enough to name me publicly; and yes, tagging me is totally fair.
Ever since getting my first mobile phone, I’ve almost never answered unscheduled phone calls.
Here’s my phone policy:
Phone policy: Do not answer
These are the situations when I’m not going to answer my phone:
While with friends and family.
While in traffic.
While thinking about important stuff.
While in a meeting.
While writing or creating.
While sleeping (or having sex).
While at the gym or out running.
While in the bathroom.
While doing housework (laundry, cooking, cleaning etc.)
While eating (or drinking).
While watching Game of Thrones.
While grocery shopping, picking up my son at kindergarten, or any other type of public activity.
When the phone number isn’t already in my phone book.
Phone policy: Do answer
These are the situations when I’m going to pick up the phone:
When I’m close to my phone when it rings, and none of the above scenarios apply, and the phone number belongs to someone that I genuinely feel like talking to at that precise moment in time.
When kindergarten staff calls.
When my wife calls.
Phone policy: Reply to texts
According to my boss1, being available for unscheduled phone calls is not really in my job description.
Is there a potential crisis?
Why not send a text message along these lines:
“Jerry. Code red. Can you make yourself available for a quick call?”
If you’re my client and you send me a text like that, well, then I’m all over it. And then some.
Still, due to this rather unpopular phone policy of mine, I’ve gotten a few snarky remarks over the years.
“Jerry. I called you first, but you didn’t answer, so I took my business elsewhere.”
And that’s not a problem, I think.
If someone is under the impression that my expertise is so easily replaced, then we shouldn’t be working together anyway.
It’s a problem that sorts itself out, one could say.