On The Lack Of Common Courtesy

There are times when I really, really wish I could turn the ringer on my phone off completely. And I think people who don’t identify themselves when they say hello should be given a good hard smack. I just had someone who called the wrong number get mad at me for saying ‘obviously’ when he asked if he had the wrong number. The conversation went like this:

A: Hello?

STRANGER: Hello.

[PAUSE; SILENCE]

A: Hello?

STRANGER: Hello. [WAITS EXPECTANTLY]

[PAUSE; SILENCE]

STRANGER: Do I have the wrong number?

A: Obviously.

STRANGER: [AGGRESSIVELY] Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sor-ry

A: [HANGS UP]

Now, I’ve had many pleasant wrong number calls, calls where the person is very polite or warm and genuinely distressed because they’ve bothered me, and those callers I reassure and even wish them a good day. I am as polite to them as they are to me, or more so.

Nine times out of ten I know exactly who’s calling when they start talking if we’re acquainted, before they’ve identified themselves. That doesn’t mean the person on the other end of the phone should deny me the common courtesy of identifying themselves. I don’t care if you think the person you’re calling has call display or if they were expecting the call, you still say “It’s So-and-So” after your initial hello. All my friends do it; I do it. That’s also how I knew you had the wrong number. No one I know who calls me would ever be so discourteous.

So don’t get mad at me when your discourtesy earns you a short response, stranger. Especially when the wrong number was your error to begin with. You get what you give.

One thought on “On The Lack Of Common Courtesy

  1. Paze

    Yes, it’s very annoying. I know a few people who do it (mostly acquaintances of Jeff, I must say), and because they don’t idenify themselves I end up feeling as though I ought to know who they are, so I have this inane five minute conversation with them before I figure it out. . . or at least figure out that they are actually calling for Jeff, and (happily) pass them along to him.

    Reply

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