More minor phone annoyances
Following on from my post about telephone etiquette, I thought of some more random things that annoy me about the way people use the phone. So here they are:
1. People who send text messages during gym classes, or answer their phones. Come on, it’s ONE HOUR, surely you can survive that long without using the phone? I mean, I manage to last that long without checking my email, and I check my email constantly, so I know you can do it too. Fair enough if you have an emergency, but some people at our gym answer their phones during every single class, and they’ve never once had to leave the class as a result of what was said to them on the phone/by text message, so I’m going to assume it wasn’t THAT much of an emergency.
2. People who answer the phone while you’re visiting them, and then have a long conversation with the person on the other end, while you sit there looking on like a dumbass. Extra points if the person frequently roars with laughter while pointing to their handset and making faces to indicate that “OMG, this is the Best! Phonecall! Ever!” If I wanted to sit silently staring at the wall for half an hour, I’d do it at home, thanks. Is it really so hard to say, “Look, I have company right now, I’ll call you later”? Apparently.
3. Retail workers who answer the phone when there’s a long line of people standing waiting to pay. The people who are actually IN your store waiting to buy something should come before the one who calls to ask you eighteen questions about your stock. If you must answer the phone to them (and I understand it’s annoying to let the phone ring), THEY’RE the ones who should be put on hold.
4. People who phone you to tell you they’ve just sent you an email.
5. People who phone you five minutes after sending you an email to ask why you haven’t answered it yet.
6. A possibly controversial one, but: people with a non-urgent enquiry who call your home phone and, getting no answer, immediately call your mobile. If I’m not at home, I’m out. If I’m out, I’m probably busy doing something. If I’m busy doing something, I probably don’t want to be disturbed while I’m doing it. (And yes, I know the whole point of MOBILE phones is so that people can reach you when you’re, er, mobile, but I still view this as an “only if you really HAVE to speak to me rightthatveryminute” thing. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but this need for near-constant communication just irks me.)
7. People who use their phones in movie theatres. Seriously, that should be an arrestable offence.
8. People who phone you about a work-related matter you’ve specifically asked them to email you about. And then say, “I know you asked me to email you, but I thought it would be easier if I just called instead.” Well, it may be easier for YOU, but it’s not easier for me. That’s why I asked you to email me. If it was easier to do whatever -it-is by phone, I’d have asked you to phone me. (This doesn’t happen so much now, but when I used to freelance, I much preferred people to put the instructions for their project in writing, so I could be totally clear about what they wanted, and so they couldn’t come back to me two weeks later and say, “oh, but I really wanted you to do it THIS way…” It was fine for them to have an initial phonecall to discuss the thing, obviously, but when it came to them giving me long lists of complicated instructions, I needed them in writing, because no, it just wasn’t easier for me to struggle to write them all down/remember them with the phone lodged beneath my chin and the person talking nineteen-to-the-dozen on the other end.)
9. People who phone you really late at night. Look, it’s nice that you were thinking of me, but if it’s later than about 10pm, I’m going to assume someone just died.
10. People who call you really early in the morning. And then say, “Oh, sorry, were you sleeping?” Well, it’s 8am on a Sunday morning and I’ve been working all week, so… yeah. Extra points if they then smugly say, “Oh, I’ve been up for HOURS, I just can’t lie in bed all day!”
11. People who call you and then eat something noisily with their mouth right next to the receiver. If there was a “detonate” button on the phone, I’d use it on these people.