voice mail is a tool.

Last quarter I posted (ranted) about my biggest cell phone pet peeve.

I have another one.

Why do people have to answer the phone EVERY time it rings? Is it not your phone? Your life? Do you not have voice mail? Why? Why? Why?

I have a cell phone. It’s not like I don’t get calls. But here’s my cell phone etiquette:

If I’m actually involved in a conversation with someone face to face and my phone rings, I subtlety look at the caller id (seriously, everyone has caller id), then:

If I don’t recognize it, I let it go to voice mail and continue talking with the person standing in front of me.

If I recognize it, I think: is this a possible emergency? Is it my kid’s school? A family member? If not, I let the call go to voice mail. If it is a possible emergency, I say “I”m sorry, excuse me, this is XXX and I need to make sure everything is okay.” Then answer it, and if possible, ask the person if I can call them back.

If I’m expecting a call when I begin a face to face? At the beginning of the conversation, I say, “I’m expecting a phone call I really need to take, so if my phone rings while we’re taking, . . . “

Take back your life. Talk on the phone when YOU want to. Treat the person in front of you like they’re important. Make them feel important by continuing to talk with them – even if your phone rings.

One thought on “voice mail is a tool.

  1. I appreciate your comments regarding mobile phones. We seem to think that when the bell rings whether it is mobile phones or land line phones, we have to stand to attention and answer it regardless of what we are doing or who we are talking to at the moment. It is rude to cut off your conversation to answer someone else. a phone call is like someone coming up to you and cutting into your conversation. I always feel that if it is important they will call back. Letting calls go to our voice mail is the perfect solution because the person calling can state their business without interrupting us and you can call them back when you are finished. You are so right, the person we are talking to deserves our attention. One of my pet peeves is when I am standing at a reception desk at a hotel etc. and in the middle of a conversation that is obviously important to me and to the hotel, the phone rings and I and my problem is immediately dropped. How do I feel? Slighted, less important and my needs unimportant.

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