The Silence of the Phone — Let’s Talk

Last week I came across an opinion piece – Op-ed – in the NY Times called “Do Not Perform CPR on a Bed”. This interesting title was a lead-in to the author’s thoughts on how phone conversations are a dying activity.

The author, Farhad Manjoo, started his column with:
“The phone call is not long for this world. To the young among us, talking on the phone is said to be an intrusive, anxiety-provoking time-suck that’s woefully out of step with the gif-soaked, asynchronous virality of the digital age. Why go through all the trouble of verbalizing a complicated emotion when you can say so much now — to so many different people — with a simple emoji?”
Mr. Manjoo goes on to say:
This is all quite sad. The death of the phone call will be a blow for human relations, because talking on the phone is one of the best ways we hairless apes have ever conceived of communicating. As a kid of the 1980s — and, now, a journalist who gabs on the horn many hours a week — I have long kept a place in my heart for the phone. A good phone call sings. It can conjure the same out-of-body experience you feel listening to your favorite podcast; it transports you, instantly and efficiently, into someone else’s mind, conveying not just information but also intensity and intimacy.
His frustrations and desire to interact in a more meaningful way with his readers led him to set up “office hours”. He established a calendar interaction offering to speak to selected readers on any topic that is “on their mind”. No set agenda, nothing off limits – for approximately 15-minute conversations. Over the last few weeks Mr. Manjoo has spoken to readers around the world on a vast range of topics – including the one which he discussed in the titled op-ed – “Don’t Perform CPR on a Bed” issue.
Overall, he stated that the experience and the conversations “have been surprising, mind-expanding, sometimes infuriating, sometimes inspiring, and never boring. They’ve taken me deep into subjects and dilemmas I might not have considered otherwise — creating, on the whole, something like an inspiration factory for future columns, which honestly feels a little like cheating.”

I too have taken these feelings to heart.

As a sole proprietor, in my industry – HR and HR’s use of Technology – I usually work alone – unless I am with clients or teaching HRM and HR Technology at NYU or Manhattan College – out of my home office in White Plains NY. My daily companion – is my dog – Cashmere – a Maltshi – who sits nearby on his blanket or on my couch or sometimes on my desk (my Associate perhaps – smiling).
I do talk to her, but alas, she never initiates interactions with me unless she wants to go “out” or food is in the offering. Days and weeks go by when my landline office phone (914-993-9697) is silent and does nothing but collect dust and spam calls. Although, I do have weekly scheduled calls with my current clients, that only increases the desire to have more conversations. So the idea that the NYT columnist activated was intriguing to me.
So, I am now offering to anybody who would like to TALK and have a real time conversation with me on whatever topic is on your mind. It could be about HR, HR Tech, HRMS providers, your thoughts on articles, trends, and day-to-day consulting challenges, even pop culture – TV, Films sports and most anything. Like Mr. Manjoo – I seek invigorating discussions and learning opportunities found in a good exchange with my industry colleagues and contacts.
I offer my undivided attention.
I will be at my desk – every Friday – 3pm – 5 pm East Standard Time.
I look forward to having an (up to) 20 min chat.
Why not pick a time slot? You will find the dates and times I have made myself available on my website. Once I receive your interest I will get back to you to confirm and schedule the specifics.
I do look forward to hearing your voices, your inflections, and our sharing of things and experiences and not just sharing emojis.
It will be fun for both (and it will keep the dust off my phone!)

Thanks.

Marc