Telephone Manners

It is customary to give a greeting when answering the telephone.  In the United States that greeting is often the word “Hello.”  In Australia it is often the word “Cheers.”  Whatever greeting you choose to use, please say it politely.

If the call is unwelcome, such as a telemarketer, there is no need to be rude or abusive, even if it is the third such call of the evening.  Instead, simply and quietly tell them to take your name off of their calling list.  If the call is abusive or threatening, it is no longer strictly a question of manners.  Hang up and call the proper authorities.  There is no social requirement to speak in response.

While talking to another person on the telephone, or for that matter a two-way radio, it is very rude to be audibly doing something else, such as rattling pots and pans.  (Granted, some people have established a relationship where this is not rude.  In such circumstances it is a matter of free and mutual agreement.)  If you are going to talk to someone, give them your attention.  And do not audibly eat food while on the telephone as the smacking of the mouth is not pleasant to hear.

And of course, do not interrupt.