Monday, October 8, 2012

One Ringy-Dingy Ding a Lingy!


Dear Helen Hartman,
Love my new iPhone. Well, I love the apps and fun things I can do with it – most of which have nothing to do with using the phone part. Well, okay I love those things for myself. I am sick of everyone else loving their phones so much! I am NOT loving that I can’t get through a social interaction with any real interaction anymore. Not loving that every new innovation brings new behavior that has more to do with personal expectations and less and less to do with etiquette! Help me love my phone more but helping others learn to act better with their phones!

Dear Love-the-Phone-but-not-the-Phoner One,
On one hand Helen DOES enjoy telling people how to behave! On the other hand, Helen has been guilty of some pretty bad phone manners herself.

Paying a child to hold the phone and say 'uh-huh', 'uh-huh'  when my tacky neighbor Teresa calls to complain about the goings on at Helen's house is bad, right?
On the OTHER hand

Yes, Helen has ANOTHER hand, there is always someone standing by to provide one for her, whether they want to or not. Keep up the good work extra hands lady and one day you want get to be in color too. As long as you don't clash with HELEN!

On the other hand Helen’s other job is in customer service so she has a LOT to say about phone manners so let’s go! First, the whole reason for a phone to exist is COMMUNICATION.  It is NOT your personal world controlling device.

What? You mean Angry Birds doesn't give me dominion over those danged pigs? It was step one  in my plan of ruling the whole animal kingdom.
That means – when you call a number and get the voice mail message – LEAVE A MESSAGE!

"Hmmm, I just met him. I am clearly crazy. It went to voice mail. Should I tell him I'm stalking him, maybe?"  Is THIS a message you would want to miss?

Don’t assume the other person will simply see your number and call you in return to find out what you want.  I know this is what many people do anyway, but that’s not communication, that’s like some evil genius pressing a button and expecting others to be at his/her beck and call.

"Yeah, sure,  I get that, Mavis but I'm telling you I KNOW her. Genius is not word I would use... I mean evil is not a word I would use to describe her. At least not to her face."

On the receiving end of that message – if someone is polite enough to leave a message PLEASE LISTEN TO IT. Don’t just call back the number and ask what they want.
Listen carefully, Norm, they are about to put a tap on the phone. Do not call today unless you want the authorities to know about you know what.

When I was a kid we never would have even imagined having the TV on during a meal so we did not have a no TV at the table. At my house we did have a NO SINGING at the table rule.

Yes, that rule was established specifically for Helen. They were always trying to cramp my style.

Helen has heard that many households have now established a NO PHONES at the table rule.

Mama did not go to all this trouble so you could sit at her table and retweet inane gibberish from some  PR team pretending to be the celeb flavor of the minute. Take out that phone and let Mama introduce you to her little friend - the phone smasher 2000. 

And don’t get me started on the whole phones as cameras and the etiquette of that!

Next time you decide to record every second of real life going on around you so you can share it online to show people how fun life around you (that you are not actually participating in) is, stop and ask yourself - HUH?
In the end, phone etiquette is the same as any etiquette. Meaning: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! So next time that you're tempted to do something rude... oh, sorry, I'm getting another call, Gotta take that...


         

26 comments:

  1. The worst is the "Sorry, gotta take this call" when they ask you to "Hang on." Like you have nothing better to do than sit there with a dead phone to your ear waiting for them to finish the more important call and get back to you? I'm not so offended if they say, "I'll call you right back." It's the "Let me keep you dangling while I talk to my REAL friend" part that really chaps me.

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    1. I know! That's been an issue since call waiting began.

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  2. I hate getting together with someone for lunch or dinner and have them spend three quarters of the time on the phone with non-emergency calls; the last time it happened I left enough money to pay for my meal and tip and went back home. Was that harsh of me?

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    1. I think that was brave of you! Helen would like to think she would be bold enough to let the person know their behavior was out of line.

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  3. When I grow up I am going to get one of those fancy phones,too,but my behavior would probably be terrible so maybe it's a good idea I don't have one.

    Hugs,
    Laura

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    1. LOL -I sometimes feel like I am the only person around that uses my phone for a phone! My daughter texts me from the back seat of the car (not while I'm driving but when her dad is )and I say - just TALK TO ME!

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  4. Oh, I am a little bit guilty..I do love my phone...I can read great stories (from great authors) on my phone while laying in bed at night, I can play Words with Friends in the Dr.'s office rather than make eye contact with others, I got to the point that I would text my children that dinner was ready because they couldn't hear me because their music was up too loud. Guilty as charged. However, I do have some sense of etiquette. I do turn it off when dining with others...er...okay, I don't answer it.
    I was just thinking of Lily Tomlin today....she was awesome as all her characters.

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    1. Well, me too, mostly as a defense - when I eat with my family I can't get them to quit with the phones so I pull mine out rather than sit there feeling alone. I thought afterward that I wished I'd found a pic of Lily - love her!

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  5. Phone etiquette...yes, it's definitely needed!! Great post!

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  6. Ha! I can relate! Seems like since those new fangled phones and caller ID came into style, everyone assumes you'll see the number! WELL, that makes an ASS out of U and ME...get it! ASSUME, I know I'm cheesy!

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    1. Funny thing about cheesy - when you're talking about Cheetos or Nachos it's a good thing! Though I suspect that isn't what you'd want on your phone.

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  7. Excellent advice! Phone etiquette, well and every other kind of etiquette for that matter, is sorely lacking these days. What? How did you know I was at Walmart recently?

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    1. Walmart deserves it's whole own code of behavior, phone or otherwise!

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  8. lol!!!!! people can not believe it when I have no idea who is talking on the other line....you mean you don't have caller id????? I'd really like to answer "do you think I would have picked up the phone if I knew it was you!!??? Anyhow....we often talk about the days when we had that pesky little cord attached to the phone....and it was a long one too....could stretch all the way to the basement door so we could have a "private" conversation! love it!!

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    1. Love the response! I recall those cord days fondly but my folks refused to get the extra long one - but when I got married and had a baby I HAD to have one to be able to keep an eye on her.

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  9. Terrible phone etiquette, I must agree...and "paying a kid to hold the phone and say uh-huh..." was a laugh!

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    1. Hubby comes from a family of talkers. You don't want to hang up so...

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  10. spot on hilarity as always! how did you get so clever? xo

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    1. Helen isn't really clever, people just provide so much fodder for making fun!

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  11. Helen, We had that "No singing at the table" rule, too. Now that I have my own table, I can croon all I want. The hubby and kids won't eat with me, but ol' Fido will howl along. My parents still have a dial phone. I used it last time I visited, complaining that it hurt my dialing finger. Great post.

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    1. What was the deal with that rule? I mean, singing is a good thing. Except maybe the way I do it. Wow on the dial phone - your mom isn't old fashioned, she's hipster ironic!

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  12. Ah, you made me think of Lily Tomlin and I smiled:) Must say, I really don't like phones ~ so much better to chat in person!

    ~Cindy

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    1. Helen enjoys keeping people at a distance when she chats... so she mostly just talks to people as they drive crazily by her in the car.

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