Weekly Pet Peeve: Workplace Phone Manners

The Peeved Pet.

How I look when people don’t know how to talk on the phone at work.

I was so focused on writing about Poe today that I nearly forgot the Weekly Pet Peeve. My heart’s not in it 100% today, so I’ve hauled this one out of my drafts and tweaked it a bit:

You know what I hate? When people are making a work-related phone call and don’t bother to introduce themselves properly. If you are calling in an official capacity, you should at the very least state your first and last names, and preferably also what your organisation is.

I’ve had people call and not say their names at all, or just say “This is *Sarah” and then demand client information. And then I have to go through the whole interrogation to find out the relevant identification of Sarah, during which time Sarah is getting more and more irritated. Would this not be easier if she started out with”Hi, this is **Sarah Palin, I’m a social worker at XYZ Child and Family Services and I’m looking for information on Jane Doe who is a permanent ward of my agency”? Yes, it would indeed be easier. So, Sarah, when I point that out to you in the course of our phone conversation, there’s no need to get all hissy. Because the minute you raise your voice to me, I’m hanging up.

On a related note, it makes me so hostile when people call me and say “Hi, it’s me.” How bloody rude is that? Especially in a workplace setting. Do you know how many people I talk to on the phone in any given day or week? And pretty much none of them are so dear to my heart that I am going to automatically place them by “Hi, it’s me.” Just say your bloody name and state where you’re calling from. It’s not rocket science. I can be a real passive-aggressive asshole about stuff like this, so even if I know perfectly well who it is, I will play it out as if I have no clue, wasting everyone’s time and pissing off the caller.

One of the things I liked about the work culture in the Netherlands is that it was simply a given that people at work would use their first and last names. And even when answering your own phone at home, you wouldn’t just pick it up and say “hello?”—no, you would pick it up and say “Hello, this is Nissetje.” Or, if you’re feeling really casual and edgy, you could pick it up and just say a flat “Nissetje” so the caller would know you’re all chill and shit.

But the point is, if you are calling in a professional capacity, a little bit of common courtesy, relevant information, and phone manners will go a long way.

*Not her real name

**Seriously not her real name, but the conversation was idiotic enough for it


6 thoughts on “Weekly Pet Peeve: Workplace Phone Manners

          1. melindasmoot

            Nice! My best friend and I used to yank the chains of telemarketers that called her house and didn’t introduce themselves with anything other than their name. I once sang Disney’s “it’s a small world” theme song and then hung up. Wouldn’t you know it? The telemarketer called back and asked if I needed an ambulance or something. LOL.

            Liked by 1 person


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