We’d flirted online a few times many months ago, then stopped. I can’t remember why. We started again last week. Last night he called. This psychology professor included these tidbits in his 45-minute monologue:
- He told me in great detail of his recent tooth extraction — his third — and his options for implants or a bridge. Why extraction? Because he went to the dentist only every 3 years (his insurance would pay for every 6 months) and ignored the infections that caused his teeth to rot.
- He planned his vacations only around time-share pitches at hotels so he could have a free weekend stay.
- He dabbled in day trading, so currently had invested this month’s mortgage money and had maxed out his credit card advances to buy a new stock, even though he’d lost money in the past.
- He described the social psychology class he just finished teaching. When he began to explain social psychology, I said, “That was my minor in college.” He continued with his explanation as if I had no idea what it was.
I asked him questions and injected statements — when he took a breath, which wasn’t often. There were many times he could have asked me questions about my comments, but he didn’t. I tried for 15 minutes to extricate myself, and finally did. He said, “Give me a call when you have a few minutes.” Right. Like that’s going to happen.
This call reminded me of a few things:
- While I try to give people grace, I learned everything I needed to know in 30 minutes that this man was not a fit for me. Anyone who ignores his dental hygiene for 3 years and repeatedly has teeth removed because of it doesn’t have the decision-making skills I’m looking for. This well-paid man is so cheap he only goes on free vacations. If he’s gambling with his mortgage money, this is not someone whose values I respect. And finally, if he ignores what I say, he’s just interested in a monologue so it doesn’t really matter if I’m there or not.
- I make assumptions that because someone is educated, in a certain profession or knows certain information (like psychology), they will behave in a socially astute way. Not necessarily.
- I’m glad I have a “phone-call first” rule. If I didn’t I’d have taken time to get dolled up and drive to a Starbucks to sit excruciatingly while this man blathered on. Now I won’t be making that drive.
- I need to be bolder when I want to end a call, perhaps bordering on rude for those who don’t pick up on subtler clues.
This experience also made me wonder what I did that caused me to fail phone auditions. It is not only me who has rejected invitations for further contact after a call. Occasionally I’ll think a call went swimmingly, never to hear from the guy again.
When you’ve decided not to see someone after an initial call, what did they do or not do that led you to this decision?