Tag Archives: phones

The new rules of phone calls: how not to be a jerk

angry_on_the_phoneI don’t answer my cell phone anymore (I don’t have a land line) unless it’s a good friend or family member.  I figure if someone doesn’t want to take the time to email me or text me ahead of time to A) let me know why they want to talk; and B) arrange a time, then I’m not going to interrupt what I’m doing at their whim.

So I was thrilled to see this NY Times article last week: Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You.

Phone calls are rude. Intrusive. Awkward. “Thank you for noticing something that millions of people have failed to notice since the invention of the telephone until just now,” Judith Martin, a k a Miss Manners, said by way of opening our phone conversation. “I’ve been hammering away at this for decades. The telephone has a very rude propensity to interrupt people.”  Though the beast has been somewhat tamed by voice mail and caller ID, the phone caller still insists, Ms. Martin explained, “that we should drop whatever we’re doing and listen to me.”

Yeah, baby.

If you leave a voicemail, have the decency to explain why you want to talk so I can judge whether a return call is warranted and how soon. I hate it when people leave a "Hey Griff, call me" voicemail and then hang up.

Lastly, speak distinctly, as your voicemail automatically gets translated into text and then sent to me via email and text. 1) It’s very handy to have the text of a voicemail be searchable in my Gmail, with your phone number clickable.  2) If you drone on and on and on in your voicemail, I don’t have to listen to it. Text is fast. Audio is slow.