One ringy-dingy…

Today we are going to have a lesson in placing phone calls.

Here are a few things we don’t say when the person at the other end answers the phone:

1. Who is this?

2. How you doing today?

3. Where is Herman/Gertrude/Anastasia?

4. Let me speak to the manager (please optional).

When we call someone, we are intruding, just as surely as if we walk into their bedroom while they are in flagranté delicto.

Unless we are calling someone we speak with all the time who we are certain will recognize us by voice, the appropriate greeting after hello is:

Hello. This is Myrtle Beach. May I speak with Six Flags, please?

That’s all. No asking who’s answered the phone, no fake concerns for their health or well-being, no demands regarding the whereabouts of their friends, family, and co-workers, no presumptions that you’re not already speaking with someone important.

And please, before launching into your story about what you just saw walking down the street, ask if they have time right now. They might be busy.

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About S.

Reader, writer, talker, knitter, picture taker, tennis player, music lover, Southerner.
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4 Responses to One ringy-dingy…

  1. Joey Potter says:

    Is this a good time to chat? So what does one do when talking to a help desk somewhere north of the Ganges about another computer glitch and you can’t understand a word that is being said to you? Namaste.

    • S. says:

      Well, what I do is say, “Thank you, you have been so helpful, and I really appreciate it. May I speak with the next person up the line?” I keep doing that until I get someone who doesn’t call me “Mum” and who I can understand.

  2. Emily says:

    I was taught, from the age at which I was deemed old enough to answer the phone, to respond to “who is this” with “To whom did you wish to speak?” Usually knocked the legs out from under them, I think particularly coming from a child.

  3. Mamie says:

    Another favorite of mine: I’m kinda busy right now, can you call me back in ten minutes?

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