I love having called ID on my phone. When someone calls me at work, or on my cell phone, I know before I answer who is calling and am able to better prepare for the conversation that is about to ensue.
On my cell phone, I've taken it several steps further. When someone calls that is in my personal address book, it's quite likely that a picture of them will pop up, accompanied by a personalized ring tone or song that I've chosen, just for them.
Scott Wesner was amused this weekend to discover that, when he calls my cell phone, the tone is a man speaking the words, "Don't answer! Don't pick up the phone! It's your boss callin'." I had forgotten that I had given Scott that particular ring tone until he called my phone while we were both in the pickup.
There's pictures of Denise, Sean, Sharon, Peanut, Connie... And, of course, music to alert me to their call. Most of my friends give me grief about even having a ring tone since I'm hard of hearing and they usually have to tell me that my phone is ringing. It's even worse if I'm in the pickup and have the radio going... I never hear phone calls when I'm driving (which is probably for the best).
The funny thing about knowing who's calling is that it should make it easier to let the call go to voice mail if I'm busy. But, that's not the way it works for me.
When the name/photo/music come up on my phone, if I'm not busy with someone else, I WILL answer the phone. Even when it's buddies calling at 1:30 a.m. from the Houson Rodeo, I answer to make sure they don't need anything. When I learn that they just want to laugh and tell me how much fun they're having, I also have no problem hanging up the phone and ignoring the next two calls.
Unlike some clerks I've encountered at local stores, if I'm helping someone, I will NOT stop to take a phone call. I figure that's the reason I have a plan that includes voice mail. If the call is really important, I can listen to the message when I'm free and call back later. Also, with caller ID, I know whose call I missed already, so a message isn't even always necessary. I get rather tied up in knots when the person I'm dealing with in a store or restaurant whips out their personal phone to handle a call, essentially relegating me to "on hold" status while they sort out their personal life.
But, as I've said, I do answer the calls when I am able, and I do return the calls later when I've had to let them go.
My friends and my family are important to me. That's why they have my phone number. I've got my cell phone on my business card, so the general public has access to that same phone number. When the phone rings, I'm able to tell if it's a friend, or if it's someone else calling.
I'm never bothered by having been sent to voice mail. I know that the person I've called, like me, will sort through their missed calls later, and they will call me back. That's the way the phone, and friendships, work.
This past weekend, I ended up moving 2,400 pounds of flooring tile because I answered the phone. I fixed a wireless connection on a laptop because I answered the phone. I made sure a heifer had no problems delivering her first calf because I answered the phone.
Sometimes, friends ask for favors, and when you answer the phone, you have begun the bargaining process of that favor. You either can, and will, do the favor, or you choose not to.
However, and here's the sweetest part of this whole deal, my friends also answer their phones. And they pick up items for me while they're shopping out of town. They make sure I closed gates that I don't remember closing. They pull me out of creeks when the truck doesn't quite make it all the way across the gravel. And sometimes, they just answer and say hello, which is all I needed to hear.
So, yeah.... I'll answer when a friend calls.
It’s all just my opinion.