Reteaching Phone Manners

This article, entitled Reteaching Phone Manners comes from Cathy at bountifulplate.

I just wrote a post about manners, but I neglected to include phone "manners." Get ready, I'm hopping up on the old "soapbox!!"

A couple of years ago, Lauren started getting phone calls on her cell phone from a bill collector. The calls got more and more nasty and threatening. They were trying to reach the person that had Lauren's cell phone number before her. They would say things about her being immature, etc. I thought the bill collector would get the message that by not returning the phone calls that they had the wrong number. I finally had to call this company and explain to them they were calling a teenager's cell phone!! The calls ceased after that :)

About six months or so ago, the phone rang and Lauren answered it. I have taught her that if someone on the phone asks for the hubby or me (and we are not at home or can't come to the phone), to tell them we are unavailable and that she can take a message. Lauren was trying to tell the guy that I was unavailable (I was in the bathroom). The guy was very persistent, so Lauren then told him that I was at home, but not available. He got really rude and said, "Well, which one is it? Is she unavailable or is she there?" He got her so rattled and upset that she brought the phone to me.

I finally had to tell the guy, "Hey, I'm in the bathroom and that's why I couldn't answer the phone." This guy said something to me like, "I don't really care where you were!" and then proceeded to hang up on me.

About a month or so ago, we kept getting calls from a certain number over and over again for weeks. I didn't recognize the number and they wouldn't leave a message. I finally decided to answer the phone. They asked for Lauren, because evidently she signed up for tutoring (I don't think she did). I told the person that Lauren wasn't available. The guy on the other end of the phone laughed at me and then hung up. He kept calling until one time my husband was here. He talked to the guy and told him that Lauren wasn't interested at this time.

I donate a few times a year to my old college. The most recent time they called (a few weeks ago), the guy was telling me most people donate more than I usually give. I told him that I wanted to donate a smaller amount. He said, "Most people give with their credit card, do you have that number handy? Or would you like me to hold on while you go find it?" I was caught kind of off-guard and said, "I don't feel comfortable giving my credit card number over the phone, could you please send me the pledge card in the mail?"

After I got off the phone, I had a bad taste in my mouth about the way the guy presumed I would just rattle off my number to him. I sent an e-mail to my old college and told them about the incident. They apologized and said they would investigate. There is so much identity theft out there, that I never give my credit card number or social security number over the phone.

My husband and I were always nervous when my mother-in-law would get calls at her assisted living facility that she might give out her social security number to a stranger on the phone. As her dementia got worse, we got more nervous!! It makes me sick to think that there are people out there that prey on the elderly like that. Unfortunately, it happens.

Last week, the phone rang and I picked it up. This voice said, "Is your husband there?" I automatically said, "No, he isn't, but may I take a message?" I should have said he's unavailable. I need to be more careful of that when I'm here by myself. After I told the guy my husband wasn't here, he said, "Are you his wife?" I was like, "Yes." He was someone that wanted my hubby to do a favor for him. I told the guy I would pass the message along to my husband.

When I make calls, I always identify myself first. It kind of bugged me that this dude never identified himself until partway into the conversation with me. How about when the phone is ringing, you race to grab it and there is no one there on the other end??

I LOVE our new phone that we just got a few months ago. A computerized voice will say either the number that is calling or the person or company name that is calling. It's good for when I'm bathing Dominic or otherwise indisposed.

I truly think that some people really need to be "retaught" good phone manners. Okay, I'm done and I'm hopping off my "soapbox" now :) What do you think? Does it bug you when someone is rude or has bad manners on the phone? I would love to hear!!!

To read more from Cathy, visit bountifulplate.blogspot.com



About the Author...
Cathy B
Cathy is a homemaker, wife and mother to a son with special needs, a teenage daughter and stepmom to an adult son.
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