Don't answer the phone when I call...

…if you don’t have time to talk. Seriously. What the hell? Don’t answer with, “I’m on the other line, what do you need?” and then rush me off the line. Don’t wait until I greet you to tell me you don’t have time to talk. Unless I’m calling a caveman, you have some kind of electronic message-taking device that I will gladly speak to when you don’t answer, so just don’t fucking answer. If I’m so important you MUST know what I have to say right now, this very second, why then am I so unimportant that you rush me off the phone so rudely? You are rude. You don’t mean to be, but in this instance you are.

And while I’m discussing you, it’s ‘valedictorian’, not ‘valleyvictorian’. I swear to God, woman.


I’ll answer the phone but be too busy to talk any number of times/occasions. Sometimes folks are calling for a simple answer to one question (“when’s the next orienation” May 14th, “Ok, bye”) and it’s just quicker and easier and less time intensive for me to deal that way. But if it’s going to be a longer conversation, I’ll say “can I call you back” or whatever. Happens a lot w/my spouse and child, as well. WE often do the 'call/check in" routine thing, and if I’m busy (or spouse is), no big to say “call me later”, however if spouse of child were calling w/an emergency, I sure as hell would rather know about it now and not later.

But what if you called to say you were in the ER and needed me to bring your medical directive/your keys/a book/makeup 'cause the respiratory therapist is cute and single/a cheese tray? If it’s an emergency, I want to hear what you have to say; if it’s not an emergency, I’ll call you back at a better time.

Are you sherr? Oh my gawd! :smiley:


If you suspected someone were calling fom the ER, you likely wouldn’t answer with “I’m too busy to talk to you, what do you want?”. And if I left you a voicemail message saying I was in the ER, wouldn’t you call me back? Would you leave me to lay in a pool of blood alone and without a cheese tray? Don’t you love me anymore?? :smiley:

My point is this - either you have a minute to be polite or you don’t. Polite or impolite; there is no try.

what was impolite?

“I’m on the other line, what do you need?”

I should point out that it’s only women who’ve answered the phone this way IME, I think it’s because we’re typically eager to please an multi-task at the same time. Men may do this, too, but I haven’t run into it just yet.

If I don’t get a friendly “Ahoy-hoy” when I answer the phone, I tell the person to fuck off and blare a rape horn into it.

Manners, people.

But if I’m on my way out the door, I wouldn’t be checking my voicemail until I got back. Or next Thursday (I’m really bad at checking my voice mail, and even worse about returning phone calls.) Cute Respiratory Therapist could find the woman of his dreams in Trauma 2 before I get your message!

But yeah, “I’m too busy to talk to you, what do you want” is *way *rude. I’d be more likely to say, “Hey what’s up I’ve got the cable company on the other line is it urgent or should I call you back later okay love you bye.”

Count me as one of those who will almost always answer the phone just in case it’s an emergency and choose to be honest (and sometimes curt) if it’s not a good time for a leisurely chat. It doesn’t offend me in the least if someone picks up the phone, says hello I can’t talk now can I call you back? If it’s an emergency, I’ll say so. If not, I’ll say sure. Frankly, the OP seems to have a different sensitivity to or definition of rudeness from the one I have.

It’s not about calling to chat, per se, but rather work calls. Everyone of us here at the mill has multiple ways to get in touch with and leave messages for each other. If I just wanted you to know a quick fact, I’ll email it to you. The fact that I’m calling inherently means that I need to engage you on something, get your feedback, etc. Don’t have time for that? Don’t pick up. I’ll then leave a message and you call me back when you have a minute for a yea or nay or let’s-see-what-we-can-figure-out solution or explanation.

Apparently yes, I do have a different sensitivity to or definition of rudeness from the one you have. Did we genuinely have so many emergencies we missed out on before cellphones came along to give us instant contact and gratification? I don’t recall that we did, and more than half my life has been pre-cellphone era.

I’m with the OP, this bothers me too. If you don’t even have 30 seconds then just let it go to voice. If it’s your SO or someone you have plans with in an hour, okay, that’s different, but it’s is a friend who doesn’t live nearby then it’s probably not anything that can’t wait 20 minutes or so. Now, if you want to click over on the off chance that your buddy is offering a last minute concert tickets, that’s fine, but then at least give the person 30 seconds to give a short message, don’t just cut them off when you find out they don’t have anything interesting to say.

I should say that I’m a little bitter because I had a friend who would do this all the time. She was constantly getting calls and interrupting on phone call for another phone call. She once even CALLED ME and after 30 seconds told me she didn’t have time to talk.

On the other hand when you call me at work, just spill what you need to tell me, ask me your questions and then get off the line! Don’t get all pissy when I’m not paying total attention, cuz, oddly enough, I’m probably working.

Don’t get me started on those folks who see you called, don’t listen to their messages and just call you back instead; then they decide what you called about isn’t important enough to merit continuing the call just then.
Come here and let me shake you, dear pal of mine, it’s a shake full of love.

My dad does this and I HATE it. He’s a jet mechanic and often when I call it sounds like he’s standing RIGHT NEXT TO a roaring engine (he probably is), and he yells “I CAN’T TALK RIGHT NOW SON, I’M REAL BUSY, I’LL HAVE TO CALL YOU BACK.” Guh. Just let me leave a voicemail or text you or email you. You have a fucking blackberry.

I must be a caveman. On my home phone, I have call waiting and a physical answering machine. If you call while I am on the phone, and I don’t use the call waiting feature to switch to the other line, then all the caller will hear is a phone ringing and ringing, with no possibility to leave a message.

  1. I don’t have voicemail, and would probably never check it if I did. Thus, I will answer if I’m able.

  2. Some people (mothers are really bad about this) have a habit of calling at bad times. My mother always calls during a movie, my MIL while we’re playing WoW. So, it’s not really a matter of choice with those two.

  3. As mentioned above, I don’t know if it’ll take long or if it’s an emergency or what. If it’s one of those two, I’m sure you’d be pissed at me for electing not to pick up. Otherwise, I’ll bet back to you sooner if I know what it’s about.

If my phone rings, I will answer or not answer it in a way that suits me and my needs (including my need to take care of my patients and do my job properly) at the time. At home and at work. Period.

If he’s cute, I’ll return your call.
If he’s a cheese tray, I’m checking you into detox.