Do you have a question about something technological?
Maybe you’ve thought of leaving a comment or filling out my contact form, but haven’t gotten around to it? Or can’t find the right words when you try to write it down?
Would you like to talk to a human who gets it?
I’m trying out a little thing I like to call Open Office Hours. Which, if you abbreviate it to OOH, you are required to pronounce with a trill of delight, like someone who’s just been presented with a surprise chocolate cake. “OOH! For moi?” Eyelash-batting is optional, but adds immeasurably to the effect.
Here’s how it’s going to work:
Every Thursday, from 10am to 11am Pacific time, I’m going to answer my phone.
- Here’s my number: 909-240-7647.
- I’ll take calls first come, first served.
- I’ll try to limit each call to 10 minutes.
- If you call and don’t get an answer, I’m talking with someone else. Sorry, operators are not standing by. Try back in a few minutes.
- You’re free to leave me a message, but I’m not going to call you back. This is a one-way deal.
- To find out what time this is in your time zone, visit the World Clock.)
Why announce this like it’s something unusual? Shouldn’t I already be answering my phone?
That may be the way a Regular Business works. But I’m not a Regular Business. To put it bluntly, I do not like getting random calls from strangers who want something from me (especially telemarketers, who, bless them, are the reason I have Caller ID).
At the same time, I want to be available to My Right People.
So, although I’ve had my phone number posted on the Contact page for awhile, I’ve honestly had doubts about whether that was a good idea. I toyed with the idea of just taking it down, and directing people to email me. But if you are My Right People, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll actually enjoy talking to you.
What to do? I wanted to find a way to encourage people to give me a call, but also try out some healthy time boundaries.
Open Office Hours is my first experiment with taking control of my phone and my time. I’m going to see how it works for several weeks. Heck, if no one calls, I’ve got plenty of other work to do. On the other hand, if my phone rings off the hook, I’ll get a chance to try out new ways of serving more people. Either way, the experiment gives me valuable data.
Of course, all the other ways of contacting me are still available. Email, Twitter, leave a comment here, or fill out the contact form. And of course you’re free to use my phone number other times than Open Office Hours, but there’s a much lower chance that you’ll actually reach me.
Let the experiment begin!
That number again: 909-240-7647. 10am Pacific on Thursdays.
I’m looking forward to talking with you!
Until next week,
Wendy Cholbi, your friendly neighborhood swim-goggle-wearing technology-to-English translator
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