Friday, December 07, 2007

Socially awkward

The omnipresence of cell phones has made me really socially backward when I'm calling someone I don't know.

I'm so used to calling people who look at their caller id and know that it is me who is calling. There is no need to identify myself. Usually the person picks up and says, "Oh, Katie, I am so happy that you called me. It has brightened up my entire day! I hear birds chirping and feel the warmth of your sunshine entering my soul and cheering my heart."

I don't even need to say a single word.

Recently I bought some tickets off craigslist. Don't get me wrong, I love craigslist with every fiber of my being. I've even started referring to it as THE LIST. There are no other lists before this list. It is the alpha and omega of lists.

The thing I find awkward about craigslist is the whole contacting-a-complete-stranger aspect of it. There is always that first chain of impersonal emails where you exchange information, haggle prices, and set up some kind of plan to meet.

Then the phone calls start. The first call left on a voicemail. The second reply...usually to voicemail again. You finally connect and there is that strange identification conversation. It goes something like:

Me: "Hi, this is Katie, the girl from the Internet, who wants to buy your blah blah blah for $50?"

Them:"Oh yeah, this is so-and-so. I have blah blah blah to see for $50"

Me: "Cool, when and where can I meet you to buy the $50 blah blah blah?"

Them:"Well, I'm in South Denver, where are you?"

Me:" I'm up in Boulder."

Them: "Oh, well, can you meet me at the grocery store that is right next to my house that is terribly inconvenient for you to get to?"

Me: "Umm, I guess."

Them: "Great. I'm going to have you call me on the morning of the day we're meeting, then again when you are on your way, then again when you are in the parking lot, then again after we make the exchange, then again next year for a follow up."

Me: "Um, that's strange, but OK"

Them: "OK, I'm programming your number in speed dial so that I can call you a bazillion times before we make this excruciatingly simple transaction. Sound like a plan."

Me: "OK, you're kind of creeping me out so I"m going to ask a co-worker to come with me to make the exchange"

Oh, wait, this isn't the way your experiences have been? Hmmmmm


Olivia said...

Hilarious! I love Craigslist because it sort of re-creates community in a really cool way, but it's also kinda weird and requires lots of trust, bravery and awkward exchanges of information.

Far From Perfect said...

My daughter needed a place to live in Steamboat for the ski season.She used this Craig thing. I completely freaked on her. She found a place with a family, alot of checking out, phone calls. Sounds ok I quess. We are going up the 18th to meet them. My fingers crossed.