Saturday, October 20, 2007

Telephone Etiquette...Note to ARP

TO YOU, the Annoying, Rude Person (ARP) who made me feel confused and irritated when I called Jim's house tonight:

Okay, when you are at someone else's house and you decide to answer the phone, try to remember that IT'S NOT YOUR PHONE (OR YOUR HOUSE), so it's helpful to remember that the innocent person calling DOESN'T KNOW YOU, CAN'T SEE YOU and is calling for the person who LIVES THERE, not for YOU. Ergo, have some flipping manners and identify yourself!

I called the neighbor Jim's house, figuring my husband had wandered over there for a Saturday evening cocktail, and since our fantastic roast was about to come out of the oven for dinner, I knew he might want to head back our way. Here's the exchange:

ARP: Hello?

Me: Hi. It's Barb. Is my husband over there?

ARP: Who??

Me: Barb Blogger. Is Mark over at your house?

ARP: (confused and annoyed): Mark?? Mark who?!

(So, now I'm thinking either I have the wrong number, or Jim thinks he's a comedian, and Mark is high-tailing it out of there.)

Me: Mark Blogger, my husband. Are you just playing, or is he really not there?"

ARP: Who the hell is Mark?!

FINALLY, the fool (YOU, ARP!) hand the phone to your BROTHER, JIM, and I can finally talk to the person I called for, who tells me that my husband is not there. See, since I'm calling JIM, it's safe for me to assume that when a man sounding like JIM answers the telephone and says hello, it's probably JIM. You, however, as the guest in someone else's house, cannot assume that the caller is clairvoyant and knows that you are actually JIM's brother. See, cuz IT'S NOT YOUR HOUSE! When you answer the telephone at someone else's house, it's polite to say, "Hello, Smith residence. This is ARP." or "Smiths, ARP speaking. Hang on a minute; I'll get Jim." It's basic courtesy for anyone who can think past the end of his/her nose. This goes for babysitters, visiting relatives, or just plain anyone who is not incredibly self-centered. It happens sometimes to innocent folks, I know. But follow up your mistake with, "Oops! Sorry; let me get Jim for you!" instead of acting like I'm some kind of moron pranking you. Get your head out of your butt and realize that you're not at your own house!

Now, Blog-Reading Friends, I have to say that if you don't understand why this bugs me so much, then you have probably been ARP at one point or another and just want to justify yourself. It's okay. I still love you. Maybe it's just that I was so darned hungry when I made that call that I had no reserves left for tolerance. Good thing it was a damned good roast, and I am now well-fed and only mildly annoyed. Maybe I'll head over to Jim's for dessert...

1 comment:

  1. This isn't directly related to your own post but thank you very much for the wonderful comment you left on my blog. Photography has been something I just started to get into this last summer and from what I've been told I have quite the "knack" for it. I tend to be pretty hard on myself and critical at times (It's how I was raised) but comments such as yours always encourage me more. Once again thank you, and I'll make sure to keep in touch.



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