WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

Interesting. Perhaps we should share our own annoyances...

1. Retail - you make me wait in front of you while you answer your phone.

2. Holding up a finger to put me on hold while you talk on your phone.

3. Cell phones in movies and restaurants.


4. Typing in all caps. :)

5. Using a smiley face after saying something stupid; like that forgives it.

6. Leaving me a 30-minute rambling voice mail with your number at the very end. Then say the number really fast so I don't catch it.

7. Being an ass on the phone or in email then really polite in person like it never happened.

8. Stop the IM - Thank you. No, thank you. No, really, thank you. You're welcome. See you later. Bye bye. TTYL. TTFN

Okay, this is just amping me up this afternoon, so that's my quick list. I'm sure soon to grow.

MattJBeckwith's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Thanks for sharing the link.

Will, I agree with all of yours! I'll add the one that drives me mad:

People going about their normal day with that blasted blue-tooth ear piece in their ear.

I want to ask, "are you talking to me or that person in your ear?!?"

Peter.westley's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Oh boy - don't get me started!

My philosophy is just to make sure [i][b]I[/b][/i] do the right, polite, ethical thing....

rthibode's picture

Yes! to all of the above.

Peter, I admire your self-restraint.

1. Hearing this classic cell-talk on the bus, cutting right through my own iPod: "Oh my gaaawwwd!!!!!!!!!! Oh no!!!!!!!!!! He did???????? Oh totally!!!!!!! Oh my GAWAWWWWWD!!!!!!!!!!!" etc ad nauseum

2. People who play their iPod/whatever so loud that everyone on the bus can hear it. Seriously, go get deaf in your basement or something.

3. People who play their car stereo so loud that everyone can feel it. Your car is not a city-wide music delivery device. My house vibrates when you drive by. Close your windows and turn it down.

4. Cab drivers who wear those tiny cell phones on their ears and talk the entire time I'm in the car. I am the customer here. I shouldn't have to interrupt you to give you directions to my house. Talk to your buddies on your own time.

5. Students who keep their cell phones on in class, claiming they're expecting an important call. What are you, the Minister of Defence?

Thank you. I feel better now.

P.S. I was out for a run a couple of years ago, and this man was running in front of me, shouting into his phone "Buy!! Sell!" etc. This went on and on. When he slowed down and I passed him, I looked back and realized he had no phone. He was holding up his hand in phone mode (pinky & thumb extended). The poor guy was clearly unwell. And you couldn't distinguish him from a regular jerk shouting into his cell phone.

lazerus's picture

This is cracking me up.

Here are a few more:
1- relly badgrammer and or spelling in emails i relly lose the message when it looks like this
2- Sales people that decide to just "drop by". There's a REASON you couldn't reach me on the phone!
3- Corrollary- People who come to appointments 15-20 minutes early. Feel free to sit in the reception area the whole time. GRR.

Thanks for listening.

asteriskrntt1's picture

LOL This is funny stuff

I guess my own contribution is when people freak out if you dial a wrong number and act like you have triggered some sort of national emergency. It goes something like this:

Can I speak to Steve please?




Yes, Steve. Can I speak to Steve please.

"suspiciously"... ummmm there is no Steve here. What number were you calling?

(Repeat the accurate number)

That is our number but there is no Steve here. Who's speaking please???

Well, if there is no Steve there and I have the wrong number, what does it matter who I am? Will learning my name make Steve magically appear? Sheesh.

terrih's picture

How about this one: My personal cell rings. I don't recognize the caller ID. "Hello?"

[aggressive tone] "Who's this?"

"Excuse me!?" [in my best Miss Manners do-you-realize-how-rude-you're-being tone]

"Oh, uh, er, sorry, guess I have the wrong number."

Ya think? :shock:

ccleveland's picture

Terri's reminds me of this one:

We must be among the last people on the planet not to have Caller ID at home. My little pet peeve is when people call and start talking without saying "Hi, Craig. It's George" if I know who's calling.

For people I talk to a lot, it's not a big deal... I recognize voices okay. But's frustrating.

Our babysitter does this every time she calls...and she sounds like several other people that call.


stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="ccleveland"]Terri's reminds me of this one:


And Craig's reminds me of one of my pet phone related peeves. There are several people who will call me on my mobile (cell phone) when for one reason or another I cannot answer the phone and leave me a voice mail that is just "Call me" or "I need to talk to you". First off a voice mail heard through a mobile phone speaker isn't always terribly clear so there's a good chance that I don't recognize the voice (and of course they do it with own number sending turned off so all I see on my missed call log is "Private Number"), secondly this is costing me money (both to pick up up the voice mail and then to call them, if I do happen to recognize the voice and have their number to hand, in the UK the caller always pays the full price of the call) and finally I have no idea if they called just for a chat or if it's actually important so I have to call back in case it was important.

Have M&M produced a podcast on voice mail etiquette? Or maybe it's not really a manager thing, more of a PA/EA thing.

Due to the nature of my work and that of the people I deal with most of the time, I do seem to spend a lot of time listening to or recording voice mails. My personal formula is that unless I actually need to speak to the person the same day I don't leave a voice mail, I'll call back later or send an email, if I do then I do leave a voice mail. For personal calls the voice mail would probably be something like "Hi {name}, it's Stephen just calling to {reason for call} I'll see you/I'll call you/Could you call me back please {phone number, if they're not likely to have it to hand}. Bye!". For business calls it's usually something like "Hello, this is Stephen Booth on {phone number and giving company name if appropriate} calling at {approximate time and date, e.g. 7pm Friday 24th August}. I need to speak to {name or position of person as appropriate} about {brief reason for call and give indication as to how urgent it is}. I'll call back at around {roughly when I plan to call back} or if you could call me on {phone number} I'd be grateful. Thank you bye." If I think it's needed I'll also send an email indicating that I've left them a voice mail and giving a longer version of my reason for calling.


corinag's picture

My pet cell phone related peeve is: "I called you on your cell. Why didn't you answer"?.

In one version, my landlady called 17 times in a row. Literally. It went from ring to ring. I was on a landline discussing conditions for a promotion contract at the other end of the room, and couldn't go shut it off. It went on and on, although after 5 unanswered rings it goes to voice mail, and she could have left a message. She eventually did. Guess what it said (in an annoyed voice) "I called you on your cellphone, why didn't you answer?"

Another time I had somebody coming in for an interview who called to let me know they wouldn't make it. I was in a meeting and naturally couldn't answer my phone. (It was on silent, and again, went to voicemail automatically). Not being able to reach me, she called the front desk to say she wasn't coming and left me an a message with the frontdesk staff - "I called you on your cellphone, why didn't you answer?"

I hate the way people suppose that just because you have a cell phone, you're available round the clock to answer it...

wendii's picture
Admin Role Badge

To take this off at a tangent.. twice on Friday I was told that I leave my number too fast and people can't pick it up. I'm all D..leaving a message, moving on with my life! but enough I to feel upset about it!

Anyone got any tips on how to slow down?


WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

Will's rule of phone messages.

#1 This is [state name]
#2 My number is [state number]
#3 Leave SHORT message.

If you really want to be spectacular, make a bullet list before you call. You'll get all of your points off in a clear and concise message. Heck, even if you actually speak to the person, you'll have an AGENDA for the call.

Wendii - perhaps leaving the number up front would help you out. Even if it didn't slow you down, it would be easier for the other person to go back and try again. I know it helps me because I'm thinking so specifically about leaving the number clearly rather than remembering to do it before I sign off.

kklogic's picture

I use my high D to not be one on voice mail. Meaning - as I'm rattling off my phone number, I remember how annoyed I get to replay a message 5 times to get the number down on paper.

My formula: "Hi, this is KK from X Company. My number is X. I would like to talk to you by X time regarding X. Again, this is KK from X Company. I can be reached at X. Thank you for your time."

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Wendii

You can practice giving your phone number according to a predetermined time. For example, give yourself ten seconds that you MUST use to say your number. If you don't use all ten seconds, you probably said your number too quickly.


PS- I got your email and will go through it tonight. Thanks :D

stewartlogan's picture

[quote="wendii"]To take this off at a tangent.. twice on Friday I was told that I leave my number too fast and people can't pick it up. I'm all D..leaving a message, moving on with my life! but enough I to feel upset about it!

Anyone got any tips on how to slow down?


Write it down as you say it. If you're in tune when writing it, the other person should be able to keep up as well.

rthibode's picture


I find it most effective to leave the number twice rather than just slowing down. If it's slow but I miss one number, I've still missed it and need to replay the message. I say this:

"Hello, this is a message for X. It's T calling from ABC Organization. You can reach me at 123-4567. I was hoping to speak with you about bla-di-blah. Again, it's T, from ABC. 123-4567. Thank you."

lazerus's picture

Tip for leaving your number if you speak quickly: purposefully pronounce every individual number. See each number alone. If you see or hear your number as a whole, it will come out of your mouth that way.

Three. Zero. Three. Three. Nine. etc., as opposed to 3033931883.

If you are a 7 on the high D scale, this is obviously not easy. Too bad. Deal with it. Move on. :wink:

wendii's picture
Admin Role Badge

@ Jeff

Oh I'm laughing so hard right now!

@ everyone else

I tried harder today! Got half way through and lost my breath! Think more practice is required!


thaGUma's picture

Wendii, try picturing the person writing while you give your number. You will natuarally slow down. I use this for any important info (usually for spelling my name!) Having the image of your caller in mind can also be useful in building empathy. Alternatively you can write it down as you give it - I sometime finish a call and see that I have written down info like my name on my day book.


WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

Just a thought - Does everyone think you leave your number too fast? Maybe this was just a one-off. Maybe you're as good as you think you are. Maybe you're as good as I think you are, and I can't imagine you really have this problem. :)

terrih's picture

That reminds me of a pet peeve... someone is giving a name or address over the phone and suddenly starts spelling one of the words without saying it first.

Or is it just me? By the time my brain switches gears, I've missed the first several letters.

Sometimes I think it's because they don't know how to pronounce the word, as in the case of an address I was taking down yesterday. But I'd still like some kind of transition, such as, "350, I don't know how to pronounce this, it's spelled..."

tcomeau's picture
Training Badge

The one line that popped out at me is this one:
"I don't know if it's intentional or not, but I think [personal technology] is a way that makes it easier for people to be rude," Ervin says. "If you go to a Broadway show and paid $150 a ticket, you don't want someone talking on their cell phone right behind you."

Yes, this is one of my hot buttons, but perhaps not the way you think.

When Teela and I go to see [i]Les Miserables[/i] on Broadway and spend $225 on a pair of tickets, I don't want someone talking behind me. I really don't care if they're talking on their cellphone or to their seatmate.

I don't believe the technology is the problem, any more than I believe that speakerphones are the reason people don't pay attention in conference calls. Even if technology is a factor, we need to figure out, as a society, how to deal with it.

I expect that within Teela's lifetime (she's 11) and perhaps within my own, implants will become commonplace in developed countries. Communication and information management devices themselves will probably still be wearable, but the display and interface will be more directly coupled. Already bluetooth phones are small enough to fit inside the ear, and virtual displays small enough to go on contact lenses are within reach.

When these devices are available, it simply won't be possible to ban laptops, phones, crackberries or iPods. They'll be invisible and ubiquitous. We'll have to go back to dealing with how people interact, probably with less privacy that we've ever had. We need to find agreement on etiquette, not electronics.