Phone manners

Manners is such a pet peeve of mine.  That would be people who don't have them. 

This afternoon the phone rang with a 415 area code.  I picked it up and the person on the other end asked for Fred.  I said he was not home, can I ask who is calling?  She said Kara.  I called his cell phone and it was out of range so I am calling here.  Just tell him Kara called, he will know who it is.  I said, okay, begrudgingly (because I can't convey the nasty tone through a blog).  I asked can I ask where you are calling from?  She said, it is Kara, and gave me her number and then again repeated, have him call me, he knows who it is. 

What I really wanted to say was, Kara, you called his house.  Have some manners and give me your last name, where you are from and the phone number.  This isn't the secret service and get off your high horse and use your manners.  And btw, you shouldn't talk to an assistant with that attitude either. 

I told Fred, he laughed and he said I should have said that, it would have been epic.  I said, that I had manners and I had no idea who was on the other end.  He said, I give you the full nod to say that to the next obnoxious person who calls looking for me.  My answer was, gladly. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. rachel

    I am SO with you.I instantly know if I’m going to hit it off with someone by phone (whether it’s a JetBlue rep, catolog salesperson, client, etc) by their tone and their phone manners. I really wish you had given Kara a piece of your mind! Next time.

  2. ellen

    I wonder if it was the Kara who wrote AOL.COM. She is a bit flaky, no?

  3. daryn

    Funny.I’m guessing this is the “Kara” with the 415 number that I’m thinking it is… If so, she definitely could have used an earful 🙂

  4. Kara

    Now I feel awful as I had a bad connection with my iPhone in SF (we curse AT&T on a daily basis here) in my car and could not hear well and thought you had a bad connection too.I was not trying to be cagey. I am not very cagey. I am, sometimes, unfortunately, too obvious.It wrongly thought you sounded annoyed by the connection, so I said just Kara as adding my last name just made it more confusing and no one can ever get my name right and did not want to further annoy you my explaining why I was calling.Anyway, my bad all around (and also a little AT&T), so I am truly sorry if I seemed rude and I have learned my lesson to give my whole name, along with my number and reason for calling, all with a pleasant tone.But at least I am not as bad as Murrays!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks for the note. Lesson learned all around.

  5. judy

    Good pesach! From judy area code 415 I wonder if this is from Karas cupcakes in SF?

  6. Jen

    Wow – overreact much? Not a very gracious reply to her apology either.

  7. Jen

    Wow – overreact much? Not a very gracious reply to her apology either.

    1. rachel

      a non-gracious apology gets a non-gracious reply.don’t think it’s overeacting at all.

  8. chefbikram

    So Kara, what is your last name? :)And speaking of phone manners, what about companies that ALREADY have your business constantly harassing you for more? At&t is a huge violator. I tell them every time, please please stop calling us. If you really have something great, send it. But stop calling! They keep calling….and are typically aggressive.e

  9. frank

    Sorry we don’t all live up to par with your standards.Snobbery? At it’s finest.

      1. Rebecca

        I have to say I agree with Frank.Yes, good manners should be universal- but who’s to say that YOUR standard is the universal standard? As far as I’m concerned, Kara’s offense was negligible- and I can hardly see a reason to adopt a nasty tone of voice in response to it. Have we heard of the Golden Rule, or am I just stuck in the dark ages of etiquette here?

        1. Gotham Gal

          If I had recorded the conversation and put it up for all to hear, you mightfeel differently if someone spoke to you in that tone. Being nice, beingcourteous and being civil is all that is required.

          1. Rebecca

            Okay. That’s reasonable enough, but let’s forget about phone etiquette for a minute and step into the realm of blog etiquette.Posting about manners is one thing entirely. If you have a problem with people in general- blab on. But I noticed Kara herself read this and was clearly embarrassed. Whether you think it was warranted or not- calling people out by name (even first name) and saying negative things about them without them having prior knowledge to it is just flat out rude. If you have a personal qualm, it should be solved personally, not made into an online public affair. You could have easily made this post without using her name. You could have easily talked about phone etiquette in general. I think it’s a blogger’s responsibility to recognize that anyone could be reading at any time, and to respect peoples personal rights. To do anything else is just as ungracious as not leaving your last name and number when you call someone.

          2. Gotham Gal

            I agree with that. I wasn’t going to use her name but it was a knee jerkreaction to the call.

          3. Rebecca

            Lesson learned all around.