Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Phone Etiquette

I love my phone.  Mr. Fricken Awesome has threatened to have it surgically removed from my ear a time or twenty.  I run Grand Central Station around here, I know, I’m kind of popular.  However, typically when I get a phone call, I’ll excuse myself to my front or back patio and engage in a conversation with whoever calls.  There are occasions where I’ll be in the middle of dishes, running a dictatorship with my free-loader, making my 18th cup of coffee a project and I’ll let my caller know to either bear with me, or if they don’t mind I can call them back.  It’s the responsible thing to do.

I used to work from home.  My job required that I be tethered to my laptop and my home phone all-day-every-day.  Because India handles our Medicare now, we were required to be available during their hours of operation as well as our hours of operation (our hours being standard working hours of 8 to 5).  So I had to train the boy right off to not interrupt me when talking on the phone, because there is nothing more embarrassing than being on a conference call with a bunch of Doctors and my kid yelling at the top of his lungs, “MOM!! I NEED TOILET PAPER!!”  So we worked out a sign-language thing where if he came into the office and saw me on the phone, my pointer finger would immediately go up and he would then know that he would have to wait.  However, if it was an emergency, he did have the option to write his question down, which then after a few of these:

I had to enlighten him on what ‘emergency’ meant.  Unless you’re bleeding, broken, or dying, it’s not an emergency. 

Even though I have been laid off, the phone rules still apply.  It’s completely disruptive to be engaged in an intelligent conversation with one of my friends about yesterday’s episode of Days of Our Lives our economy and to be consistently interrupted.  Just my thing.  One of my ‘crazy Mom rules’.  So, I find it incredibly irritating when other people allow their kids to interrupt them.  Just this morning, here is a recent phone call between a non-blog reader friend of mine and myself:

Me: Hello?
Friend: Hey – STOP IT I SAID NO! – I’m sorry, what are you doing?
Me: What?
Me: Hello?
Friend: I’m sorry, Hi. What are you – NO! You cannot have a Twinkie – it’s ten o’clock in the morning!
Me: …
Friend: God, I’m so sorry, my kids are being hellions.  What are you doing?
Me: Just getting ready to study, what are you up to.
Friend [Loud thud – silence – then screaming]: OH MY GOD! I TOLD YOU NOT TO CLIMB ON THE FIREPLACE!!!  [click]

I still haven’t heard back. 
Second annoyance, the Cell-Phone-Multi-Tasker:

Friend: Hello?
Me: Hey! What’s going on?
Friend: Oh you know, the usual – oh, hang on a minute.

I then hear:  click, click, click – silence – click, click, click – silence

Friend: Sorry, my sister just texted me and I had to respond.
Me: I can let you go.
Friend: No, it’s fine – oh wait, hold on again.

Click, click, click …

Friend: So sorry.  So what were you saying?
Me: Nothing, I forgot, I need to go – call me later.
Friend: Oh! Hold on again –

This goes on for about 10 minutes or so while she has an entire conversation with her sibling via text message with me on the line with her. 

The last thing that just exudes ‘AWKWARD’ when on the phone, is the friend that has no modesty while talking to you. 

Friend: Hello?
Me: What’s up?
Friend: Oh nothing, just pooping.
Me: …
Friend: Hello?
Me: Call me back.
Friend: No, it’s ok, I’m almost done.
Me: No really, it’s fine, call me back.
Friend: Seriously, I’m wiping right now.
Me: …
Friend: Ok – sorry about that, what’s up?
Me: You know, I completely forgot why I was calling you.  I’ll call you back.

If you’re using the bathroom, especially during a class 2 download, please don’t answer your phone when I call.  Please?  I have a weak stomach. 

And that’s all I have to say about that.


  1. I'm a little worried. I think you and I might be friends in real life. Because really, I know that 99% of my conversations with friends are just like that. Do I get a pass for having four sons?


  2. Yes.
    And ew.
    That's why I don't talk on the phone.

    You kick ass.

  3. That sounds like my daughter. She's never met a phone she didn't like.

  4. BFG: I promise this wasn't about YOU. This person doesn't even know I have a blog and I only talk to this person once a week. If that. And yes, FOUR BOYS does give you a pass. My God woman! *high five*

    MommyNani: *fist bump*

    Cul-de-sac-ed: Unfortunately, yes. I need therapy.

    MMH: My phone is a curse. Horrible, horrible curse.

  5. LOL. I SO know how those conversations go. It's like kids know the power they have over driving you crazy when you're on the phone.

    Single Dad Laughing

  6. That's great! I work from home and do the EXACT same finger thing to my kids. They know the drill! And if you are dumping off in the bathroom, why do you have your phone with you?

  7. I don't even know how you can ADMIT that (the poopy thing), forget even having the phone...Thanks for reading!


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