Frustrated by lack of telephone manners

December 10, 2003

Dear Editor:

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm overreacting. But recently I have been frustrated by the lack of manners practiced by others on the phone.

In two weeks time, I have received three calls on my cell phone (a number that only a handful of people have been given) and one call at my home from people looking for someone else.

The calls go something like this:

I answer as I do each call with "Hello" and the response is "Who is this?" I then respond, "Excuse me?" and I get another, "Who is this?" These callers have dialed my number and are rudely demanding to know who I am.


Am I mistaken in thinking that the proper way to handle this situation should go something like this. "Hello, my name is 'Bob.' I am trying to reach 'Jane.' Do I have the right number?" By demanding to know who I am when they have called my phone makes me immediately defensive and I begin to be as rude as they are.

Maybe I am being unrealistic to think manners and courtesy should be the norm. I can't help but hope that this letter may encourage some of these callers to stop and think twice before engaging in a phone call if they are not certain of the number. A little politeness can go a long way and may even help lead them to the person they are looking for.

Maybe it's just me. If so, I apologize. I hope these callers eventually find the people they are looking for.

Cyndi Cox


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