Mel’s Phone Etiquette Rules

1. Please only call me on one number. If you reach my voicemail at work and don’t receive an out-of-office voicemail greeting, just leave a message and wait for me to call you back. Don’t immediately call my cell phone. Chances are, I was on the other line with someone else for work purposes and am now having to frantically try to silence the ringing of my cell phone. Unless you have suffered a grave injury, leave me a freaking message and give me time to call you back.

2. If the situation absolutely dictates that you call me on both numbers, please only leave a message on ONE of them. Leaving two identical messages on both of my numbers wastes the time of the individual who must wade through the endless series of passwords and options just to hear you tell them the same thing TWICE.

3. DO NOT, under any circumstances, leave a message that simply says “call me back.” There’s too much uncertainty in that. You could mean, “hey…just checking up with you, call me back.” Or, you could mean, “your mother has been in a car accident and was rushed to the ER. CALL ME BACK!!”. Quite honestly, if you don’t think it’s important enough to tell me what you’re calling for, I’m going to assume it wasn’t important enough that you really need a call back. There is nothing more irritating than dropping everything and calling someone back, only to end up being sidetracked in a phone call about what was on TV last night, etc. I once had a friend who left messages like that. I didn’t call her back once, and she gave me the silent treatment until I apologized for her. No longer. If you don’t think it’s important enough to tell me the subject matter of your call, I’m not going to think that it’s important enough to call you back.

4. DO NOT call me back more than once after we’ve had a phone conversation and hung up. I appreciate the finality of hanging up the phone. I don’t want to get called every hour afterward with “status updates” on whatever you were calling me about in the first place. If you have an additional question, text or email me and I’ll answer you, but I’m probably not going to pick up the phone after you’ve called me twice. And I’m not likely to answer you in the future.

This may not bother some of you, and that’s fine, but I don’t like to talk on the phone, so I want my calls to have a purpose and to be efficient. If I want to chat with you about what’s going on in our lives, I’ll want to do that in person, or I’ll want to spend some lengthy time drafting an email/letter. I don’t want to spend time with a battery powered, digitally-connected device pressed against my brain.

That is all.


2 thoughts on “Mel’s Phone Etiquette Rules

  1. ahh sometimes people are lonely and need friends though 😦 — 🙂 I must admit I’m guilty of some of these – not with you of course but others!! I guess we’re all different!

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