Why Oh Why Don't Young People Know How to

Lubbock, Texas
September 29, 2008 6:59pm CST
place a business phone call properly? Today I got a phone call. May I speak to Ms. ___. Me: Speaking Caller: OOOOK I just wanted to make sure I pronounced your name right. . . {veeeerrrrryyyy looooonnnnnggggg paaaauuuusse} Me: {getting very irritated, but trying to be civil} How can I help you? Caller: OH {like I'd interrupted her daydream} this is(name)with (business name) and I was calling for Ms ____ Why couldn't she have said "Hello, this is (name) with (business name) and I'm calling for Ms ______" to begin with? I know I'm old and cranky, but if a person is going to call me about business, I want to hear a professional on the other end of the line. Do you think I'm just being old fashioned or is there ANY body out there now days who is taught proper business phone etiquette?
7 people like this
16 responses
@SukiSmiles (1998)
• United States
30 Sep 08
No, I don't think you're being old fashioned. Of course, starting at age 12 I think my mother made me make phone calls for her so I would learn proper phone etiquette. Now, I really dislike making calls, but at least when I do, I'm not stumbling over my words. Plus, I have enough phone skills to get what I want from the other end.
4 people like this
• Lubbock, Texas
30 Sep 08
Thank you. I never taught mine to make a call, but I'll guarantee I taught mine how to answer the phone properly and find out who was calling, then if it was one of their friends, they could goof off all they wanted to.
2 people like this
@Sheepie (3118)
• United States
30 Sep 08
I think you just got a weirdo on the other line. Maybe she was just groggy because it was a Monday today. I don't know. I think even I would have the common sense to not just space out like that. Then again, I am really bad when it comes to talking to people, but I'm working on that. You know what? I bet that there was a large bug crawling on her desk and she got preoccupied with watching it. That happens to me sometimes.
3 people like this
• Lubbock, Texas
30 Sep 08
I can just see you stifling a scream!
2 people like this
• United States
30 Sep 08
Sheepie, I bet shiney things distract you horribly, don't they?
2 people like this
• Canada
30 Sep 08
You are not old and cranky at all. As a matter of fact, you hit the nail right on the head with this one. I coudln't agree more. I'm in my mid twenties, and I've known how to place a professional phone call since I was about 10! My Dad ran an office, and though I never worked here, he made sure I knew how to make a business call.
3 people like this
• Lubbock, Texas
30 Sep 08
I think it is just courteous not to waste the time of the person you're calling. If it sounds a little brusque that's better than sounding like you have no idea what you're doing.
2 people like this
@cjgrooms (4456)
• United States
30 Sep 08
I am crankier than you because i have actually hung up on them. My husband says i have no patients but i feel like if they want something out of me they can learn proper phone etiquette.
2 people like this
@myklj999 (13971)
30 Sep 08
Well, it works both ways. I was always taught to answer a business phone with "Good (morning/afternoon) this is (business name) how may I help you?" An alternate version has me telling the caller who they have reached at the business. But so many times I call a place and I get "Hello?" and that is it. How professional is that? Now I'm sure you don't do that, but I'm just saying...I guess most people actually don't know the proper etiquette for answering a business phone.
1 person likes this
• Lubbock, Texas
30 Sep 08
That is exactly how I answer a BUSINESS phone, but when I get a personal call to my home I was taught to NEVER give any information til I knew who I was talking to! And this was a call to my home.
@myklj999 (13971)
30 Sep 08
Okay, I didn't understand that. Thank you for clarifying.
@minx267 (14571)
• Hartford, Connecticut
30 Sep 08
oh, don't get me started... I work at an answering service and i take calls all night long- from people that can barely say there own name. I get so frustrated. I ask people to spell their name because I can't understand what they are saying and instead they repeat it again.- hmm. that doesn't help- because all I heard was mumble mumble again. So I repeat "spell it please" mumble mumble. S*P*E*L*L* it... does nobody understand what spelling it means- you know with letters..lol it's crazy! we even answer for some Schools we fill their substitutes for them- and the teachers get an automated system which explains what to do give day and date they are out SPELL their names out.. what grades do you teach and what subject etc. and it tells them to hit * key after prompt to quickly go on to next question.. we are lucky if we don't waste 5 minutes sometimes waiting for the recording to go on to the next sect -because they couldn't follow directions and hit the star key. a good maybe 5-10% only actually spell their name out- so sometimes we are guessing at who is calling and what we are filling. It appalls me that the teachers teaching our children can not even follow simple direction. And then their principal actually wrote to us saying he was having a problem with the way we were taking messages because the teachers names were always so misspelled. HA! I find only about 25 % of people I talk to have a proper phone etiquette.
• Lubbock, Texas
30 Sep 08
If the teachers are that inept it makes you wonder what, if anything, they're teaching our kids. When I went to school you didn't just learn lessons out of a book, you learned how to interact properly with other people. If your parents didn't teach you, the school teachers sure did! Of course when I went to school you could be sent to the principles office for a spanking, and when you got home, even though there were no phones in our little community, your parents knew about your trip to the principles office and you got another spanking at home. In my case my teacher the first two years of school WAS the principle!
@minx267 (14571)
• Hartford, Connecticut
30 Sep 08
Yep, it does make you wonder.. Hell nowadays- we are lucky kids can spell- everybody writes like they are texting, to compensate for the fact that they just plain don't know how to spell and don't give a darn about learning.. Sorry I can text to and I will abbreviate for texting. but when you are writing as in uh, HERE.. Spell your words out! And then Everyone is complaining they aren't earning enough for their discussions... well you butchered the words so much, you for sure shortened your comment length and therefore your earnings. lol.. ok I better stop ranting now. Have a great day!
@LittleMel (14055)
• Canada
30 Sep 08
It's kind of weird phone callers these days. I thought telemarketers are the worst, but apparently some people just don't know how to have a conversation on the phone at all. I experienced weird phone conversations quite often in the last two weeks. I have a small business and I never make cold calls to market my business, but I agree if someone has to do this they supposed to be prepared and sounds like they mean business. I only make calls to reply to messages in my voicemail, it doesn't happen often I receive more messages in my e-mail inbox more than voicemail, but I always prepare myself before making these calls since I don't want to end up calling the wrong person or not sure what I am going to say. There are a couple of times I didn't get the name in the message clearly and I have to double check, it's better to be safe anyway. I wrote about those weird phone calls here http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/1726436.aspx?p=0 No you are not being old fashioned, maybe it's me who is not following the new trend...
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14055)
• Canada
30 Sep 08
need to add: the new trend of hanging up when I dial the right number just like those people I mentioned in my discussion :)
1 person likes this
@shana123 (2096)
• India
30 Sep 08
Your aren't old fashioned , everybody expects a some basic manners from other people especially when they speak to customers like this ,I dont know im very young i expect a lot from any company people , i want them to respect me ( im not too harsh) .They should have been taught these things , its the company's duty to train them .After all tensions if some one calls us and make a long pause i just end the call .Telephone attenders /marketers should be humble and thats their first lesson to be taught , though many are so but these few people make us get bad impression on everybody.
1 person likes this
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
30 Sep 08
There is nothing old fashioned about expecting common courtesy! I learned very early in my days in the Marine Corps that it is always proper (and should be expected) to identify yourself first before you say anything else - period. It irritates the crap out of me to see and hear all the unprofessional behavior that is rampant today. Call me a cranky old lady too, but when I hear it I WILL correct them. If we don't, who will be left to do it?
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Sep 08
i agree.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
30 Sep 08
An establised organization should have a trained telephone operator or receptionist in their employ. The job might be easy but her responsibility is great. she is the frontline of any organization that can boost the image of the company. She makes the first impression of what the company is like to a business client. If she fails to impress the caller it can cause the company to lose business opportunities and indirectly her appointment in that company is more of a liability then an asset to her employer. If I have my own company I would make sure that I send my receptionist for courses on telephone etiquette. This is all what we expect of an advancing world of communication. Professionalism is most important.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
30 Sep 08
It is very irritating! I don't think that they are teaching phone etiquette - or if they are, there are a lot of people who aren't getting it! The other thing that really irritates me is people eating or chewing gum while they are speaking on the phone.
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
30 Sep 08
Well, whatever business they had with me would have been lost! I am "way less than nice" whenever I get one of these people on the other end! It's beyond annoying. I would fire someone who spoke to one of my customers that way! I taught my kids how to answer the phone, and being self employed they also learned to answer the business line! You are in no way being old fashioned. Communication skills are very important for everyone, and apply to all aspects of life!
@kenzie45230 (3560)
• United States
30 Sep 08
No, and no one knows how to make a personal call either. Have you had this? You say, "Hello." Caller says, "Who is this?" You, "Well, who do you want?" Or they ask, "What number is this?" You, "What number are you trying to reach?" Grrr. When I was in elementary school, we had classes about how to make phone calls and how to make in-person introductions and the like. Does anyone do that any more???
@3cardmonte (5098)
30 Sep 08
I dont think its old fashioned but not all people are like that. I had my first job at 14 and learned very quickly that you need to be both efficient and courteous on the phone, I am 24 now and i think i have it down,hopefully!
@tlb0822 (1412)
• United States
30 Sep 08
I hate calls like that. It's like don't they teach you proper phone etiquette. Although I don't think that it is always young people who do it. I have had quite a few who weren't young that didn't know how to talk properly and greet. So I just hang up. I think that the companys should have better training, or at least have them practice it or something.