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. 





Only in Walmart

If you are a Facebook follower, you will, from time to time, see a Walmart cartoon or photo posted. Usually, they are not nice- someone ill-dressed, shall we say?  I don’t mind going to Walmart most of the time. Mornings are usually the time to go , if you must – not many people who go to Wally World are up yet. 

I happened to go today, Monday, in the afternoon. Never have I seen so many ill-mannered folks in one place at one time. Because there are generally merchandise stands in the middle of the aisle, there is room for one cart on each side of that stand. Why in the world am  I always behind the people who stop in the middle of the aisle with no way to get around them. I swear to my soul they think they are the only one visiting the store at that exact moment. I patiently waited  and waited and waited and finally decided to back up and go around the other way. I reminded myself I wanted to get some grapefruit and right there , in the middle of the aisle between the avocados and the grapes, were two women stopped. Avocado woman was on her cell phone, picking up and dropping avocados , while grape woman  fiddled and fussed with each package of grapes until she found the perfect package. Another lady was to my right, watching them and then looked over at me. I kinda gave her “the look.” I felt like jumping for joy when Avocado woman found the avocado she had been looking for all her life and grape woman returned to her basket. 

Folks ought to look before they block you in. They ought to. But, don’t hold your breath.