Who calls a phoneline?

So, you work at a phone line. People call you, for advice, for guidance, for a listening ear. To sort out a situation that's got them groping in the dark. Or just so you can point out the obvious to them, because it's easier to hear it from a stranger. But who are these people? What kind of people picks up a phone and calls a payed number when they don't know anymore? All kinds of people, seems like.

 Just a few months into working at several advice phonelines, and I can honestly say I've talked to all kinds of people. Sure, it's more often a woman calling than a man, but there are men just as well. And yeah, it's more often older people, but I'm getting quite a few teens, some twentiers and a lot of thirty to fourty year olds too.

Here's an excerpt.

  • Giggly teenage girls, anxious to kow if their crush likes them and is thinking about them.
  • Grandfathers, who just cannot get that one person out of their head that they met a decade ago.
  • Rich women, alone at home and lonely when their husband is at work. Sometimes, thinking secretly of that dashing neighbour, and wondering.
  • Men of all kinds, trying to figure out why this girl will not call them back.
  • Mothers, tackling a failing marriage with the stress of raising kids who want their parents to stay together.
  • Twenty-some guys, wanting to know if there is any chance of a job any time soon.
  • Fifty-some women, doubting between staying in their dead-end job or making a career change, and is it still even worth it?
  • Divorced people, on their first or second post-divorce relationship, wondering if they made a really big mistake because nothing is working out.
  • Old women at the end of their lives, sad and bitter and frustrated that their kids aren't paying attention to them and no one values them.
  • Married women, angry and upset and full of critisicm and blame towards their husbands, wondering why their relationship is so bad.
  • Single women, trying to figure out if it's possible to get that hotshot from work to cheat on their partner for them.
  • Business owners, setting up a new company alone or with a partner, and looking for advice and an edge anywhere they can find it.
  • Young girls realising they are more sensitive than most and is it weird that they see things and have predicting dreams?
  • Working people, bored during a long night shift or stuck in an office in the weekend.
  • Police or government officials, who can't talk to their friends or clients because all they see is the job, and they can't afford to look vulnerable.
  • People with an emotional or mental disfunction (autism, aspergers, traumatised) who don't understand the people around them and want someone to make it all make sense.
  • Psychic people, coaches, trainers and assorted helpers who have all sorts of insights for others, but are just as confused as their clients when it comes to their own life.
  • People looking at big decisions in their lives, wanting to make sure they don't make a mistake.
  • People without friends, who need to hear a human voice and have some actual human contact now and then.
  • People with lots of friends, but none who will shut up and just listen, or none that they want to look in the eye once they told their story.


These are the people whose stories we'll be talking about. They're just like you, whoever you are. They're both genders, rich and poor, happy and sad, employed or and stay-at-home, married and single and anywhere in between, from all walks of life and with all kinds of hopes and dreams. They're people, they're human, and they're trying to make things work.

They're beautiful, in all their rich and messy complexity. They're amazing, in their determination to chase down happiness and love no matter what painful things they've been through.

And each of them, once you talk to them for a little while, is really easy to love.

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