"Call me anytime" you say? How literal is "anytime?"
The counselor, the doctor, the mechanic or any number of public service personnel repeatedly give the impression that they are available anytime. What considerations, if any, should the caller apply?
It's an interesting question you pose, because personally I have heard that from people but I would never call them at say, 3 o'clock in the morning. (Which I sometimes get lonely and wish I had a friend I could call that early). If it's a professional like a Doctor or a counselor and you're going through something that you require their attention, then I would assume it would be okay to call them day or night. For a mechanic, probably wouldn't call them any time of day. I think it depends on the severity of the reason you need to call them.
A good counselor will quite literally mean 'anytime' when they say it. Far too many people, in my opinion, have committed suicide or have done something they wouldn't have if their counselor was able to talk to them before they did it. As flagostomos said, it really does depend on their profession.
Thanks for these responses. What I'm wondering is: Is the caller ever under any responsibility to consider things like the needs of the professional - rest, family time, tome for other clients, etc?
I personally would call them anytime as public service personnel are probably giving you an office number, not that of a personal cell. If they answer they are in the office working anyway. Also, after they go home for the night there will likely be no one around to annoy with your call and they will have turned on the voicemail so you can leave a message that they can check at their convenience. In fact, I often call office numbers during non-business hours because I know the messages will be checked first thing in the morning and I will get an early call-back.
Your readers seem to take this literally, and indeed you have given examples: The doctor, mechanic, etc. Still, this can apply to most of us. Human nature being the way it is, we initially try to please until we suddenly feel that we have one telephone number or e-mail too many. We may also feel that we have given our details and goodwill one too many times also. Life, viewed from a particular standpoint, can be quite hectic and so sooner or later we will inevitably use some form of defense strategy to protect ourselves. For the professional, this is heightened.
My considerations in calling, in light of the above, would be to prepare for some form of excuse coming from the sometimes unshifting secretary. I would also consider the persuasive appeal; conveying the necessity of the situation; have I got the time or patience that may suddenly become necessary, and yes, the use of assertive empathy in all situations. Above all, I will strive to be guided from within.
Well, MsDora, the caller should delibrately not put any of those things into consideration.
The professional should have known better than to use the word "anytime"- and then expect the client to apply discretion in deciding what that anytime really means.
Perhaps if they're forced to recieve such calls during their pastime, they would learn to be more specific when relaying such instructions to clients.
I would think that "call me anytime" means any "day" during business hours.
I find, repeatedly, that whenever I am told 'anytime' by 'anybody' at all, I know automatically, they are insincere and cliche. Every time I need to take someone up on an "anytime" offer, they blow me off and they act like I am a bother or a pest to them. This only is just another way of proving who my "REAL" friends are.
You are magnanimous to extent your help to those who are in dire need of it without thinking about yourself. Such a habit if often rare in human beings who are often living in their own self motive only
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