The Fake-Nice Phone Voice

My voice changes when I’m talking to an animal or a small child. It becomes high pitched and gentle at the same time. But you know what? It’s real. It’s out of my control but it sounds how I want it to come across because it’s how those cute critters make me feel. Welcoming, kind, and affectionate.

Marshall Phone

That phone voice most of you have – that stuff is just phony. Seriously, what’s up with that? That’s one thing I’ll always remember about my mother. That false voice she puts on whenever the phone rings. She doesn’t have an ugly voice or anything, but when having a conversation with some stranger on the other side of the phone across the world or something, her voice becomes soft as a baby’s ass and she pronounces each letter in every word. She becomes so proper as if she’s talking to the president of the United States. Let me explain. Naturally, she doesn’t pronounce her Rs. She’ll normally speak like this: “I fuhgot to wawta the plants. Um so ty-ud. Damn it.”  Now let’s say some pushy, pervert, thief, puppy-hating salesman happens to call her to try to sell her an alarm system. She doesn’t know this guy, but she’s sweeter to him than she’s been to my father throughout her entire life, and the guy’s clearly pressuring her. “No thank you. No, not right now,” she’ll gently say. “Thank you (fake laugh). We already have an alaRm system and a big dOG to guaRd the house. No, I don’t need that, thank you though. No (fake laugh). Nope. Alrighty. You too. Alright, buh-bye.” (Hangs up, says bad things about how annoying he was.) It’s so bizarre.

Not only does she pronounce letters she normally wouldn’t and act disgustingly sweet, she fakes the whole thing. She’s annoyed with the guy and probably wants to bitch at him like she’ll normally do to the important people in her life in a similar situation, but she doesn’t. Just about everyone I know does this, especially in the office environment. I’m not saying people should come across as angry or miserable over the phone, who the heck would want that? But what’s with the hyped up, cracked out, dirty fake niceness? And those emails I receive at work with the overly excited exclamation points and smiley faces flashing their grills at me throughout the message. The person who typed the email would rather be doing…pretty much anything else. Unless they really are that happy to be writing me an email. That’s cool.

I have a friend who always adds a smiley face, a “lol” or a “haha” in her text messages, even if it’s nothing funny or positive. Sometimes I get all three, like it’s some crazy code for the “restaurant” we’re supposed to go to. I asked her about that once, and she told me she has to add them so she doesn’t come across as too serious. She said my texts are funny because they’re “serious.” I just say what I need to and send. Mission accomplished. If my boyfriend is unhappy with me (rare!) or not too thrilled about something, I can tell, because his texts don’t include his usual “:-* :-* :-* :-* : ) : ) :-* : ) :-*” at the beginning and/or end. Uh oh. That’s when I know something’s up. And, no matter what, those cheery, attractive faces will not resurface until the problem is solved. If I receive a text from him without a single “:-*” or “: )” hangin’ out in there somewhere, the feel of my whole day will shift and I have to investigate. It’s like I’m in some mystery horror movie. He only excludes those joyous text-faces when something isn’t right, or if the subject is something serious, which it rarely is with us two.

To wrap this all up, what I’m getting at is that the way people act when not actually communicating face to face really does interest me. Obviously, you want to come off as friendly, but people seem to go overboard, even with complete strangers. These days, our recipients can be emotionless robots for all we know. If you don’t dress up your virtual letters with obnoxious exclamation points, sideways faces and unnecessary giggles, you’re “too serious.” How did this even happen?


  1. lib · October 17, 2014

    Both my parents have a fake-nice phone voice, it is so disturbing to watch such smooth transition from “I’M AT WORK ALL DAY I COME HOME AND YOU KIDS HAVE DEEESSSSSTTTTTTTRRRRROOOOOYYYYYEEEEDDDD MY HOUSE! DO I NEED TO GET THE WOODEN SPOON? DON’T YOU BACK CHAT ME WHILE *ring ring* “HeLo PaILine _____ speaking, Oh Julia! Hello! No no it’s no problem, (fake laugh) Yes. No sorry (almost fake nice laughing). Ok you take care! Yes I will, you Too (exploding with perky joy) ok buh-bye, yep, you too (fake laugh) bye now. *hang up* “GET OFF YOUR BUTTS AND CLEAN UP ALL THIS MESS YOU’VE MADE!!!! (seriously just sandwich crumbs, school bags and shoes dumped in the middle of the floor and one or two cushions thrown about).

    • Nicole DiGiose · October 18, 2014

      Ha ha ha! It sure is a wonder.
      “Exploding with perky joy” — Great.

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