My topic of the day...phone etiquette. My sister Gina handed me this topic on a silver platter yesterday. I'm somewhat embarrassed to report that I can't remember her exact phone peeve but I will do my best to help you all have a good telephone conversation:
1. When someone calls you at work, stop what you're doing and talk to them. What happens if you don't? Here's an example conversation of what happens on the caller's end: "Hey!" "(typing noises...breathing...typing..) one second, two second, three, second, four second, five second, six second, seven second, eight second...."hey." "What's up?" 1...2...3....4...5...6...7...8...9...10..."Workin...you?" "Oh I was just calling to see if you wanted to meet me at the game tonight or pick me up?" (type type type...seconds pass by..) 1...2...3...4...6 etc. "Umm...say that again?" ...
You know this happens when you're watching T.V. too. Instead of asking whether or not you can call back in 1/2 hour or an hour, you turn the TV up and then I KNOW I'm competing with 24 or "Heroes." Or you mute the TV and the above conversation happens all over again. Oh, sometimes your responses to my questions become more irritable...why? Because you've put the show on mute and you're trying to read lips and you want to turn the sound back on so you don't miss anything and you want me off the phone but all you can do is say "Ummm...say that again?" Whew.
YOU GET MY POINT!
2. Don't waste words. If I can put my phone down to talk to my wife for a minute and pick the phone back up and still have been able to follow the conversation perfectly...you're talkin too much. Try to help both of you out and use fewer words to say the exact same thing. The bad part about society is that our concentration levels are sliding and if you're voice has this drone that sounds like the fan you turn on just before going to bed...let's just say you might just be able to figure out if the person on the other end snores or not.
3. Lists: Why is it that grocery lists or honey-do's over the phone inspire many to talk faster? I don't mind lists over the phone...really! However, If you've seen my handwriting then you know as well as I do that it's better to send my list to me by computer. What happens is that you tel me to buy letter envelopes and I come back with a ladder or a better entertainment system. The point really is if you're going to give a list over the phone slow down. "I want dlsj;j butta fuca s;ljkdfjkkl;eoi. "Huh?" Then make me repeat. Girls, you talk fast anyway. Then you get pissed because everything didn't get bought or done. Well...you should know that we're probably in the middle of doing one thing or other and we have to kick-start both sides of our brain one at a time. First the right, then the left. Our brain engines ride in tandem, not side by side. SLOW DOWN!
4. I love call waiting. It shows how important you really are. You hear the beep and the person says "Hold on a sec." Now, you hold....hold..."ok, I'm back, told 'em I'd call them back." Well...first of all, they probably figured you'd seen their number flash to the screen and would call them back anyway. Second...listen to your freakin message! Did they really need you to leave me to tell them you'd call them back? Huh? The second thing you look for in this situation is how long you hold...if you hold for 10 seconds, they simply said "Hi, can I call you back?" If it's any more than that, they decided to talk a minute and then do exactly what you yourself have done before...the thing that makes all of us feel like your most important friend or family member...the thing that really boosts our self esteem...what are you saying on the other side? "Hey, hang on just a second while I get rid of this other call!" Boom! The ultimate slam. We know you're saying it. Don't deny it now! Sometimes we're telling a funny story, or telling a sad story, or giving an important list over the phone....but that's not a strong enough magnet to hold you onto our conversation eh? You switch over...Then you come back and say "It's long distance...I gotta take this, or "I've expected this call, I gotta take this." First of all IT'S A PHONE! SHORT DISTANCE AND LONG DISTANCE HAPPEN AT THE SAME SPEED AND NOW WITH CELL PHONES AT THE SAME COST! Second IT DOESN'T COST YOU ANY MORE MONEY TO HAVE THEM CALL YOU BACK IN 10 MINUTES! And If you were expecting a call, all you have to do BEFORE SWITCHING OVER is say "I expected this call, they're hard to get ahold of, can I call you back?" If I say "no, I have to leave, it'll be one minute, then switch over and tell them, "I'll be one minute ok?"
5. This one is short..."pop, click, click, pop pop POP, click..."Are you chewing gum?"
Now, I didn't give you all the scenarios I could think of...that's your job. Have any more lessons we can all learn about Phone etiquette?