There are ten things that I would like to talk about the mobile phone. I have not arranged them in order of importance. I have arranged them in the order the thoughts crossed my mind.
This is a habit that is common in Zambia. Some people do not make calls. They top up their phones with airtime that they do not use. They make the persons on the other end of the line to subsidize their calls. They like paging in the hope that the other person would call back.
When you are the one initiating the business or a subject, you should always make the call.
Another bad practice is paging some one using a phone number that they are not familiar with. If you are trying to contact someone with a phone number that they do not know, make sure you call and ask them to call back or send a text message to ask them to call you back. Some people do not respond to strange phone numbers.
Some people have even gone to an extent of paging using their restricted number. How would the person you have called guess that it is you who is calling if you are paging with a restricted number?
If you are a businessman, paging the other person from whom you would like to win a business will compromise your image as a businessman. How can someone take you seriously if you give them the impression that you cannot even afford airtime?
It is also common for some people in Zambia not to tell the truth about their present location. I have experienced it many times with some of my friends. When you call them, they would tell you that they would meet you in 5 minutes and claim that they are just a few yards away from your location. I have had to wait for more than the time they have given.
For those of my readers who are familiar with Kitwe, a friend of mine phoned someone who was standing outside Divine restaurant. We were a few metres away, standing by the entrance of Compensation house. We were clearly seeing that person. Would you believe it? He answered that he was out of town away in Lusaka. My friend hung up and we walked to where he was standing. It was such an embarrassing thing.
Do not lie about your location as the person calling you might be within your area. It is always good practice to give your correct location on the phone.
USING A RESTRICTED NUMBER.
Some people like to restrict their numbers. When I say restricted numbers, I’m referring to a phone number that would reflect as “unknown number” on the phone of the person that you are trying to call. When you restrict your number it gives a wrong impression about you to the other person that you are calling, especially those that do not know you too well.
Such habits like restricting phone numbers should be left to conmen or common criminals. If you are not a criminal why should you restrict your phone number? What are you hiding from?
CUTTING A CALL
When you are in the middle of a conversation, do not cut a call. Do not reject a call by pressing the end button before you answer. It is better to ignore a call rather than cut it. Some people feel offended when you cut their calls.
If you do not want to speak to a person simply ignore the call. It is possible that they would think that you might have not heard their call rather than think that you are ignoring them.
MANAGING YOUR LIMITED CREDIT
When you are trying to make a phone call using limited credit, make sure you plan your call before hand. Prepare what you want to talk about.
You should make sure that you anticipate questions that your recipient might ask. Deal with them in your statement before hand.
Avoid making statements that will cause your recipients to explain or those that may cause them to interrupt you, as they will cause your credit to run out before you make your point. Remember that it is a natural temptation for a person to want to speak. It is also a bad habit to run out of credit on your phone in the middle of a conversation.
Check your credit before you make a call. If you know that you may not finish your call due to very low credit, do not call until you have enough credit. If it is urgent, just send SMS.
Make your greeting as brief as possible.
You should try as much as possible to communicate through text messages in communication where you are passing information only. Avoid making a call. However, there is a danger that the person might not see the message in time. You can make a brief call to inform the person that you have sent a text message.
You should try as much as possible to use promotional credit or off peak tariff plans to chat with friends .Reserve the credit in your main account for important matters, such as business or emergencies. You must always have credit in your phone at night or whenever you are travelling, especially if you drive.
I remember one day I was driving from Lusaka to Kafue. When I reached Shimabala area, some 10 kilometres from Kafue, I ran out of fuel. I had no airtime. Luckily enough, my friend in Kitwe called me to find out if I had reached Kafue .I asked him to call my brother who was in Kafue to bring me some fuel.
You should try by all means to send SMS rather than call, in communication where you are merely passing information and feedback is not required.
When typing a message, you should make sure that you check your message. If you find that your message cannot be effectively communicated using SMS, just make a call. SMS is restrictive.
The space available for messages is always limited.
You are restricted to giving as much information as possible using limited words. This creates misunderstanding because of distortions that may occur in short messages. There have been times when I have sent a message to somebody only to receive a bad reaction because of being misunderstood.
It is common knowledge that when you are in a meeting you must ensure that your phone is on silent or on vibration. Avoid putting your phone on silent when you are in a crowded and noisy place as you may miss your calls.
It is advisable to put your phone on vibration rather than switching it off when you are in a meeting. You may also put your phone on vibration if you are in a crowded place. Some handsets do not have ring volume that is audible; you may miss your calls in a crowded and noisy place even if your ring tones are active. It is good to put the phone on vibration as well as your ringtone when you are in a crowded place.
You must make sure that you charge your phone in the night when you are not receiving too many calls. This will help you to have enough power on your phone the following day. It is a bad thing to be unreachable. Some people feel disgusted when you are not reachable. Business prospects may regard you to be unreliable if you cannot be reached most of the times.
Remember to charge up before going on a long journey. Don't forget to pack your charger.
CHANGE OF NUMBERS
It is a bad habit to keep changing mobile phone numbers. People become suspicious of your stability in character when you keep changing your mobile phone numbers. It is good to maintain the same phone numbers.
Some people have a bad habit of changing mobile phone numbers if they are being pestered or being pursued by a creditor.
Do not switch off your phone or change your phone number to avoid your creditor Just be the first one to call them and let them know that you are unable to pay them at that moment. You should know that such a call will not go without a bitter conversation.
However, the creditor will have got your message and will give you some peace. Changing numbers will not help. Life is funny. Your creditor will most certainly know someone who knows your new number. In no time they will start to call you again, forcing you to change your number once again.
IBy ignoring these tips, you will be hurting your reputation with the whole world of your communication circles without even realizing it.
Have you had interesting experiences with your mobile phone? Share with us here.