Telephone Etiquette? Say What?

One of the things my mother taught me was telephone etiquette. Remember, when answering and talking on the phone owned it’s own set of rules? I am not sure parents teach their kids that kind of stuff anymore. For one thing, it’s not really a top priority- not something we think about now. Most younger people would rather text than talk . Not me. I can type fairly quickly on the computer or typewriter (remember those?), but  a phone is too small and my fingers are too fat. Especially my thumb. Who are these folks whose thumbs can go 90 to nothing texting ? 

Nope. I’d rather call someone . It’s easier for me to dial a number and run my mouth for a few minutes or more. Not only is it easier, it’s faster. “State your business and get off,” is my husband, Stephen’s, motto. He talked on the phone all day, every day for a living. So, he never liked talking on the phone. As I remember (and quite fondly, I might add), he never liked talking on the phone. But, I digress.

Some kids I grew up with were taught to answer the phone thusly: “SoandSoResidence?”  At our house, a polite, “hello?” did the job just fine. After the person stated who they would like to speak to, one was to answer, “just a minute,please.”  Of course, after that, we kids screamed, “SoandSo!!!!! it’s for you!!!!!!” We knew better, but no one wanted to take the time to actually go get the designated person. 

I have to say though, my biggest pet peeve is for someone to call me and then talk to someone else in the background. Have you ever had that happen?  I’m in the middle of a conversation and suddenly, the person I’m talking to is mumbling and I can hear someone mumbling back. “Sorry? What did you say? Are you talking to me or somebody else? Didn’t you call me? ”  Pregnant pause. “Can you hear me? Who are you talking to? ” 


My daughter, Amanda, is the world’s worst! Oh my gosh! I taught her phone etiquette, but, maybe she was busy or tuned me out during the lesson. She’s good at tuning me out when she wants to. Obviously! She does it when she calls me! Okay, I might exaggerate a little- not much, though! I do tend to get quite frustrated though because I don’t want to listen to anyone talk to someone who is sitting right there. The other person knows the caller is on the phone, but seemingly doesn’t care. Or, it could be they are just nosy and want to horn in on the call.  

So, for those of you who are guilty of this mortal sin , stop it now! Finish your convos with the folks in the room with you before you make a call to – say – your mother, grandmother or any older person (who knows there is a sort of etiquette that should be followed). We are old. We get confused. Talking to someone else while we are hanging on the line really is kinda rude, crude and socially unacceptable. 





One thought on “Telephone Etiquette? Say What?

  1. i think many of us are totally guilty of this from time to time , and yes it is always most annoying when it happens to the one who is called…. i agree… stop it eh!!


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