I sort of understand road rage. I’ve never suffered it (though I have teetered on the abyss a few times). I’ve been the victim of it in small ways a couple of times. I’ve mostly honked or been honked at. Once in a while I’ll shoot the bird or have one shot at me.
What I understand much better is telephone rage. Specifically as a result of someone I need to call not having call waiting. I talk on the phone all day long at work. Sometimes, I am on a call with two more people on hold. I try as hard as I can to get through the calls and get to everyone, but that’s just the nature of business in general and mine in particular.
Because I talk on the phone so much at work, I rarely talk on the phone at home. I would estimate that I get maybe 6 personal phone calls a year at home. The other 7,000 or so are for Raina or one of the girls (technology has all but eliminated sales calls in our house). I probably make about 6 personal calls a year from home too. And you can be sure that 5 of those will be to the only 5 people in America who don’t have call waiting. It drives me nuts. I would like to have the Publishers Clearinghouse gig. The second I got a busy signal I’d do two things: first, I’d move down the list and award the prize to the first person who didn’t greet me with a busy signal; second, I’d book an add for the next Superbowl to announce how Mr. or Ms. No-Caller-ID forfeited the big prize by jabbering away while I was trying to call them.
The bottom line is that I have to need to talk to someone really bad to call back after getting a busy signal or two. Other than my sister, who has been on the phone for hours, I can’t think of anybody I need to talk to that bad.