My Life as a Mom

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With 6 happy kids, life can be really fun around here! This blog is dedicated to the joys and sometimes chaos of having a large family. Okay, so it's always chaos around here, but fortunately, it's almost always fun, too!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Phone Etiquette

I normally don't mind too much the idiosyncracies of others. If somebody chews with his mouth open, or picks his nose while driving the car... well, I can put up with those things.

There are a few things that really bug me, however, and one of those things is poor telephone etiquette.

It's up to the parents to teach their children how to answer the phone!

I have been making some phone calls for a volunteer activity lately. And sometimes the conversation will go like this: "Hello?"

"Hi, may I speak with John?"


Then nothing... no pause while the person answering the phone gets John for a few moments, then a "Hello?" from John... I'm either to assume that THIS is John, or the person is off getting John... for forever.

Or, worse yet...


"Hi, may I speak with John?"

"Who's this?"

"This is Sue."

"Sue who?"

"Sue Smith."


"May I speak with John?"

"What do you want?"

Now -- I'm either to state my business to this person - not knowing whether this is John, or his dad, or the plumber come to work on his kitchen sink, or I'm to hang up.

It's so rude!

And, it leaves me to wonder -- is the person hiding from creditors? Or from somebody else that he doesn't want to speak to? (That's truly what I think must be the case...)

It comes across as very rude and strange, and puts me on the spot. Now, I know that in these days of telemarketers, people get lots of calls they don't want. But making the person at the other end of the line - when you have no idea who they are or why they are calling - uncomfortable, is just plain rude. It's the opposite of good manners.

My mother-in-law is a great example of someone who exhibits good manners all the time. She is very gracious and very considerate. She just may be the most considerate person I know! (How lucky for me as her daughter-in-law!!)

And, in examining what it is about her that makes her such a shining example of this, I realized that it's her consideration of the other person's feelings. She NEVER wants to make another person uncomfortable. She has never stated this - but I can see it in her actions - that to her, the best way to behave is to make sure the other person is COMFORTABLE.

As a result, she is a wonderful person to be around. I strive to emulate her!! (What a testament from a daughter-in-law, too! That I would hope to be more like her!!)

Well - that is my little rant for the day! Here are some good links about manners and consideration of others, AND telephone etiquette:

How do people treat you?

for Receptionists

Granting Beingness