March 9, 2009

Phone Manners

Do you talk on the phone often? Have you ever thought about your manners or lack thereof on the phone and what other people should be able to expect from you while you're on it?

I had a woman calling in the other day for something with a mouth full of food, crunching whatever it was in my ear telling me how classy she is and needs this product like YESTERDAY and what are we going to do about it? All I could think was, doesn't being classy typically include relatively decent phone manners? Maybe she's the classiest thing in the trailer park? Who knows really but it was gross and made me wish I had control over making sure her package arrived as late as possible lol.

Then on one of my other jobs, I was transcribing some voicemail messages.........OMG. Do you have any idea how many times people say the word "ummmm"???? Lets put it this way.......if we had to type the word everytime it was said, it would pretty much be every other word. I'm not kidding either. So now i'm afraid to leave voice messages lol. I just know i'm going to sound as stupid as the people I try to transcribe messages for, or well..........they're callers anyway. I think I at least know why these people pay to have their voicemail messages transcribed too! Far better to pay someone else to listen to them and translate what the caller is saying than try to listen to it yourself. Some are just brutal and if the callertalkslikethisandnevertakesabreathit'sreallyhardtonknowwhatthecrapthey'resaying!! Lots of calls have me wanting to type "dude/dudette, get friends and colleagues who can speak clearly please!"

So anyway, to ease my frustration i thought i'd share a list of phone etiquette tips in the hopes that it will spread like wildfire and suddenly my jobs and the jobs of others will be much easier.

1. Speak Clearly and if you don't, don't cop an attitude when no one can hear you. If you're asked to repeat what you said multiple times during your calls, it's a good chance it's not everyone else who has the problem. I cannot stress this enough!

2. Your lunch or snack can't really be shared over the phone with anyone. Therefore please eat before or after your call. When you eat on the phone, it totally sounds like a cow chewing cud and well, just think of yourself that way and I bet you don't eat on the phone again.

3. If your kids can't talk here's an idea, don't let them answer the phone! Why? Because it's irritating, that's why. Don't do it.

4. Unless you are talking to your old deaf Aunt Martha, don't YELL. IT'S RUDE and it makes many of us wish we could "accidentally" lose the connection lol. I know it seems amazing that you can call from 1000 miles away and be heard but it really works pretty well with all the new technology being implemented. Calls are clearer than ever before. Shouting isn't going to increase the likelihood of actually being heard, it decreases it. Why is that you ask? Because when you shout, most of us pull the phone away from our ears. It's a self preservation thing.

5. Flushing the toilet is a dead giveaway that you were using the bathroom while talking to someone. I don't care who you are talking to, that's just freakin gross. And unhealthy too. What if you wipe and touch the phone before you wash your hands? What about the people who don't wash their hands? UGH! It's nasty!! Plus if you're talking to a Customer Service Rep.......i don't care how nice you are or how big your problem is, the sound of the toilet flushing takes over the rest of the conversation in a silent but every effective manner. All the innocent person can think of is that they've been brought into the bathroom and unwillingly subjected to your bodily functions. Kinda like driving own the road and spotting the squatting dog or the horse's humping on the side of the road. So think of yourself that way the next time you really need to go and you're on the phone. You are like the squatting ya stop doing it or you at least never flush while on the phone again.
Either way is fine i suppose.

6. If you call a company to order something and the company sells alot of items please don't think you can call and describe it to the Customer service agent. For instance, I cannot tell you how many pretty strappy black sandals Nine west sells. Would you really call them and say that's what you are ordering and expect that the agent has a freakin clue which one you mean? On the other side of that, if you bought a pair of shoes 10 years ago, there's a good chance that you can't buy them again 10 years later. It's the same for cell phones, tv's, clothing, etc. Things change, deal with it!

7. Trying to have 2 conversations at once is a pain in the ass for the other persons involved. It's not multi-tasking, it's rude and lengthens the time considerably to complete each conversation making it not only rude but inefficient. If you are trying to order something with one person and need to talk to Aunt Martha about the bread she made 15 years ago that gave everyone gas as well as almost dehydrating the dog by giving him diarrhea for 3 days, just STOP! Do one thing, or do the other. Not both!!! This is really an issue!! Just because you are not actually speaking to the person doesn't keep them from hearing you!!! I promise!

8. I know you love your babies. I know that when they cry you want to hold them and soothe their little hearts. Beautiful, until you put them in my ear screaming their freakin head off. It's not the baby's fault it's crying, I understand that, but good Lord have some mercy and call back later!!!! Nothing you need to order from me is worth putting off whatever your child needs or destroying my hearing for. If you think i'm kidding, let me record your call and call you back so you can hear it.

9. When you call to order something. Have your credit card handy. There's pretty much not a chance in hell that you're calling anywhere that's suddenly going to offer your entire purchase for free so why in the hell would you call and leave it outside in the car where you feel the need to walk through the snow/ice/water/whatever to retrieve it? Seriously? it's not like I called you and surprised you with the opportunity to buy something, you called ME for gawd's sake! Additionally if you really have to do this, alllow me to give your name and phone number to the next person I talk to who was holding for the 20 minutes it took you to get the darn thing. It's only fair after all, i'm just sayin.

10. This really has nothing to do with phone etiquette but i'm adding it anyway. If you're calling me to order hundreds of dollars of shoes,tv's, clothing, cellphones, etc, make sure you tell your kids not to say anything while you're on the phone about how they have no food in the house to eat. And if they do, pleeeeeeeeease don't follow their statement with "i know, let mommy finish this call and I'll see if I can find some change to get you something". Times are hard, it's not a horrible thing to struggle, but if you can order shoes and your kid needs to eat, hang UP!!!!Go buy some groceries and yourself some flip flops. They sell em for a buck at the dollar store. You get new shoes, the kid gets to eat, everyone's happy!

There, I feel all better. Here's hoping this week finds me with a whole new breed of callers lol. I won't be holding my breath though.


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