How late is "too late" for people to call you?

In this MPSIMS thread I explained how I had to find myself a crappy job. My new crappy job is…

<drum roll>


I get to call people and ask them to do surveys.

It was my second shift tonight. Both last night and tonight, I found that a few people would say, “no, it’s too late for that kind of thing.” This reminded me of a friend who doesn’t permit his teenage kids to take phone calls after 8:00 p.m. Everyone is still up for at least another two or three hours, but for whatever reason that he’s never been able to explain to me, they’re just not allowed to accept calls.

So, my question. How late is “too late” for people to call you (assuming that “when I’m in bed” is just obvious)? Is there a different “too late” for friends and family and market-research-telephone-you-guys? If there is a deadline for your home to accept calls, but you’re still awake, why is there a deadline?

Incidentally, the “too late” for market-research-telephone-you-guys to call appears to be some time before 8:30 p.m.


I, generally, don’t take phone calls at home. But the general rule with my friends seems to be up to 8:00 PM is OK for a stranger or acquaintance to call, up to 9:00 PM is OK for friends to call, up to 10:00 PM is OK for family and close friends with a problem and after that it’d better be something truly urgent.

I s’pose I coulda thrown in my opinion while I was at it. I don’t think people who don’t know me (telemarketers and survey people for example) shouldn’t be calling past 9:00, but mostly because I don’t think they should be calling anyone past that hour. They wouldn’t be disturbing me, per se, but others could well be in bed.

As far as friends and family, they’re always invited to call me any time of day or night. I’ve never minded being woken up in the middle of the night if someone wants to talk.

10:00 PM has pretty much been the limit for friends and family. 9:00 for people I don’t know so well.

For telemarketers and surveys…never.

9 pm for other business type/related calls

adult friends and family…10 pm

kids friends 7 pm

emergencies any time of course

Which is irrelevant for the most part since I don’t answer the phone anyway. I have an answering mavhine for that. Nothing pisses me off as much as getting up to answer the phone and have a computer on the other end…" please hold" bullshit, you called me, I am not about to hold.

Everyone that knows me, also knows to wait a minute…I’ll pick up if I’m there and it’s a friend or another important call.

Don’t you just hate guys like me?

Then again if you got an average of 25 calls a day you’d be on the phone for hours every day, NOT ME.

sorry…kinda went off there just a bit huh?

Depends upon the reason… I’ll accept a call at three A.M., but you better be near death or something of equal seriousness (or you soon will be).

10 or 10:30 is the latest I’ll usually call someone else though (unless I’m near death, or soon will be… :)).

Depends on who it is.

Telemarketers and other annoying people: never.

Close friends: 11 or 11:30

Family: Anytime, but if the phone rings in the middle of the night, someone had better be dead.

After 10pm it better be some sort of crisis – or Mrs. danalan will be pissed.

10pm is a good cutoff, but very few people call me anyway. I’m very inclined to let voice mail take it, then see if I want to deal with whoever it was.

Well, since i work nightshift and it’s hard to sleep in a bright room when the sun is out, the real question should not be “how late” but rather “how early.” I sleep from 9am to 4pm, and when people call and i hear the ringer i get up and think to myself “Someone must really . . . .want. . .to. . . DIE! . . . hello?

don’t call me before noon goddammit.

Never before 10 a.m., never after 9 p.m.

It’s just being polite.

I wouldn’t call anyone other than a friend/family member after 9 pm.

You can call me up until 10:30 pm. If I’m not doing anything I’ll do your market research survey - hey, you’ve gotta earn a living and my times not that valuable.

That IS a crappy job. My condolences.

The obvious answer of “always” for telemarketers and such aside, I don’t really have a Too Late threshold. This is entirely due to working nightshift. There’d be a Too Early threshold, but I turn the phone’s ringer off when I sleep and place faith in the answering machine (whose speaker volume is also effectively off).

I work nights, bartending, so it’s not a question of “how late” but “how early.” Anybody calling me before noon better have a serious freakin’ problem, or have previously made arrangements to call at that hour. (Yes, I’m serious. If I don’t TELL you to call me before noon, you better not even try. Chances are I’ll sleep through the phone ringing anyway.)

If I’m off and at home, people can call me til at least midnight, b/c of the hours I keep.

I don’t call my friends after ten, though; we all keep late hours, but out of respect for whatever they may be doing, I don’t usually call after ten unless it’s urgent.

For telemarketers and phone-surveys, I find it irritating if it’s past “business hours.” IOW, don’t call me during dinner and don’t call me during prime-time. Just because you “know I’ll be home” doesn’t give you the right to join me.

Having said that, I’m never hostile to anyone who calls, and if it’s just a survey, I’ll usually get a kick out of it and go ahead and take it if I’m not involved in something else.

I don’t call outside 9am - 8pm, unless it’s a friend or family member whom I know will be awake, free, and ok with it.

Around 10:30-11pm. I’d be reluctant to call anyone after 10pm, though.

As a general rule, 10PM is my cutoff time for accepting calls from family and friends. I’ll still take calls from family members after this time since I know they’d only call me then if it were important. For business-related calls, 8:00 PM is the latest. Telemarketers and surveyors, never!

On the other end of the scale, I don’t like to be called before 8:00 AM for anything.

Oooh, my condolences. My all-time crappy job was taking surveys live-in-person in shopping malls, which is only a few shades less crappy than doing it over the phone.


Telemarketers: Never.

Telephone market researchers: 9:00 pm (While I loathe telemarketers, I actually do not mind spending a little time on the phone doing a survey, as long as I’m not asked to buy anything.)

Friends and Family: Anytime; I don’t care if it’s the middle of the night, if someone I care about needs to talk, I’m there for them.