Handling telephone calls awkwardly could be rude

posted in: Etiquette | 0

Dear Miss Manners:

I am annoyed by then way my significant other handles my calls.  Although he is tethered to his cellphone, I don’t expect him to pick up every call; it is the lifeline for his business.

Annoyance one: He will answer the phone but announce, “I can’t talk now; I’ll call you later” and hang up, leaving me no chance to leave a message.  Isn’t this why we have voice mail, to handle calls we can’t take?

Second annoyance:

He never listens to his messages, insisting it is more polite to return the call. I think if I have taken the time to leave a message, and I try to be brief, he could take the time to listen. I do not like to repeat myself, for one, and I may not need to be called back –  the message may be all that is needed to clear a situation.

He believes his way is the most polite, but I don’t believe good manners be so annoying.

Answer: If Miss Manners recommends texting, will you understand that she by no means condones its butchering of the language? As the electronic equivalent of a Post-it note, it gets the message across without interrupting the receiver.

However, at the risk of starting a domestic dispute, Miss Manners agrees with you.  With caller ID, there is reason not to let the call go to voice mail if you know you cannot take it.  Being told it’s a bad time to take a call by the person who just answered it is as illogical as it is impolite.

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