Don't Call Me And Say "Who's This?"

I just did this very thing myself yesterday. I DID have to make several phone calls, and somewhere between answering machines and voice mails, my daughter asked me a question. When the person on the other end answered, I was completely stumped. I didn’t say “who’s this?” though. What I said was “Uhhhhh. I have no idea who I just dialed. Do I sound at all familiar to you?”

Fortunately, my sister-in-law recognized me.



I also hate being greeted with a demand of “…hrurhgrhguhh?? What number is this?!!” Um, the wrong one, apparently, SHIT SPINE. Fuck you.

Most of these ‘Who’s this?’ calls are probably caused by people paging their drug dealer with the wrong number. Drug dealer returns the call and asks who it is without saying anything about who they are for obvious reasons.

“Who’s this?”

My polite answer: “Who are you calling?”
My less polite answer: “Nuh-uh, you called me, who’re you?”
My bad mood answer: “This is Mr. Dial Tone. Say hello, Tone!” <click>

Well, yes. But, I was giving an alternative to “WHO’S THIS!” Not to the obvious, mannerly thing to do which would be, of course, to pay some %&#@! attention to who you’re calling. :slight_smile:

And that is the perfect response. It’s a gentle way of saying “you get no information from me until you give a little about yourself”.

I like to say, “May I ask who’s calling?” or (if they ask what number they’ve called) “What number are you trying to reach?” in my “offended schoolmarm” tone of voice. That usually shakes them out of their self-absorption long enough to remember their manners. Either that or they just hang up and call again in two minutes.

Hello people, this the Pit. We don’t speak like Q-Bert with @)(& and such, we just get straight to the fuck.

Anyway, I’ve been getting a couple dumbshits calling repeatedly on my cellphone pulling this “Who’s this?” crap. I’ve started putting their numbers on my contact list under the name “Moron” so I can ignore them without answering.

I never really encountered this until my last job, which seemed to have a high percentage of people who were raised by wolves. I swear.

It’s a long story trying to explain this job, but long story short, we all worked in different residential houses around town. So we’d get calls from all sorts of people (telemarketers, coworkers, cable guy, whatever). You never knew who you were going to get when you answered the phone.

Many coworkers would bark out (and I mean bark out) “Who’s this?” when I answered the phone. It griped me no end. I usually said in a peeved tone, “Who’s this?” which gave them a start and then they finally would identify themselves as coworker so-and-so. I would have been far more snotty, but I had to work with these people and wanted to keep the peace.

So many coworkers did this, but one. The most gentlemanly fellow, who always said, “This is coworker Brown, to whom am I speaking to?” See, that wasn’t so difficult.

I can’t understand why someone can’t be polite about it, and simply identify themselves first.

cmason32, why are you so uptight? You need to stop complaining and just deal with it.

Just kidding…Great rant. I hate people who do that.

How about this?

“Who’s this?”
“It’s the guy who’s hanging up on you.”

Who’s this?

Where am I?

Where’s my soup?

Didn’t I have pants a moment ago?

I ran dickety-two miles for … oh, I forget. But it had bells on it.

And the most minimally polite way to do it is to say “Hi this is SnoopyFan, who’s this?”

i.e. the caller should identify him or herself first.

The only exception to this rule I make is when the call is from an ordinary citizen to a business. When folks call my office and ask whom they’re speaking with, I say “This is attorney lucwarm, what’s your name please?”

It’s not a matter of hatefulness. It’s just annoying when folks act rude.

[scooby doo]

ruuuRUUUUH???[/scooby doo]

It seems you’ve missed the point of his rant. Sure people get distracted, and if that happens, the appropriate thing to do is to give them an explanation and polite request for information.

Something to the effect of “Oh, shoot, I forgot who I was calling, this is “Liz” who did I reach please”?? or some such.

NOT a blunt, rather stupid sounding (duh) “who’s this”?

Most of us learned basic phone manners back in third grade or so. “Who’s this” when you’ve forgotten who you’re calling wasn’t part of the the list.

The only time i’ve ever come close to saying ‘who’s this’ is when returning a missed call to a number I don’t recognise, but still there is a polite way to do it. I spend a lot of my working day talking on the telephone and have developed a pretty classy telephone manner, it really bothers me when people are impolite on the phone. I remember giving a telemarketer a long lecture on telephone etiquette, they got so bored they hung up…

Easy Answer:

Idiot Caller: “Who’s this?

Victim: “It’s me.

100% success rate with that little gem.

I don’t get the “Who’s this?” very often, but I do get callers who sound vaguely familiar and start a conversation, yet never identify themselves. Then I have to ask it.

ring “Hello?”
“Hi Mr2001, is R. there with you?”
“No, I haven’t seen her for a couple days.”
“Oh really… do you have her cell phone number? I couldn’t reach her at home.”
“I could find it, but she used up all her minutes. I don’t think you could reach her there.”
“Oh, all right. Well, can you let her know I’m looking for her?”
“Um, sure… who are you?”

Hey now, leave me out of this. :smiley:

And of course, all of this could be avoided if you savages answered the phone like the Dutch do, sophisticated as they are. To wit: the person receiving the call identifies themselves, thus clearing up any confusion about wrongly dialed numbers, getting the wrong person from the household on the line, et cetera. The caller then reciprocates, and tells who he is. Barring the instance in which the caller forgets his own name, the conversation can then start immediately without further dicking about to determine whomever the hell is on the other side of the line.

Well, that would be fine and dandy, except in the case that not everyone wants to identify themselves to potential strangers, or even worse, a (GASP!!! )…telemarketer.

My boyfriend, who has a slavic surname, answers his phone “hello”?

If he gets the “who’s this” question, he has a number of games he plays with the caller which are gently delivered, but pretty funny even so. Maybe it’s an American thing. It just strikes us as presumptous, especially if it’s asked in that arrogant, “snap, snap hurry up who are you you’re wasting my time” tone of voice.

If the caller then asks for Mr. ASdrioonuusdi???(complete butchering of said boyfriend’s surname), my boyfriend then says “no, he’s not home” and hangs up.

As for me, I don’t have my number listed, I’m a single female, if someone calls me by mistake, I don’t want some potential teen prank caller, or some perv knowing the girl’s name who has the telephone number 555-1234.

However, I’m not as quick on the draw as my boyfriend, so I usually just politely ask “who were you trying to reach” or “what number were you trying to reach”.

Let’s not give the Dutch all the glory. We still know how to use phones in the UK as well.

I always answer “Hello, Russell here” - I know very few people who don’t answer in a similar fashion.

Are people really so concerned about saying their name to a possible stranger in the US?


In Germany we also answer the phone by giving at least our surname. Something along the lines of “Hello, Schnitzengruber”. But if you ask me, I think all countries should switch to the Italian way of answering the phone:


It just leaves endless possibilities for the rest of the call.