The first words spoken into the mouthpiece of a telephone by Graham Bell, were, “Mr. Watson- come here. I want you. “Since then, many voices have boomed, curses, messages, requests and even lullaby’s into the instrument, making it the most indispensable medium of communication. But how many of us use it the way it is meant to be? How many follow the telephone etiquette? How you speak into this, ‘black wonder’ (sometimes menace) is a very good gauge of your character.
The first lesson in telephone manners stipulates brevity. The telephone is not meant for swapping complicated recipes or solving intricate math problems. It is not be used for hours of gossip sessions.
Ii is only a convenience gadget with a specific purpose to serve. Just imagine your own irritation when you get the ‘busy’ beep continuously.
Modulate your voice and don’t blare into the mouthpiece. Of course, if you are speaking long distance and the lines are bad, you are at liberty to shout. But spare the others, shut the door and shout away. Some have the habit of saying “Haan” “hein?” Why not say “sorry”? Or “pardon me” in stead? If you have to raise your voice, avoid being shrill. Make it full throated and deep. Don’t keep ‘helloing’ every now and then while conversing. “I told you to come. hello…no, not to the movie. hello.. Hello is fine, as a greeting when you pick the receiver but better still will be announcing your number. This will save a lot of time- both yours and the caller’s.
Two words that you must use constantly on the telephone are “Please” and “Thank you”. They sound like music. Always say “May I please speak to so and so?” and not, “I want to speak to so and so”. Please hold the line” sounds better than ‘hang on’ “Who are you”? Is crude. Say “May I Know who I am speaking to please? “When you leave a message, always thank the person for taking it down. Politeness is specially appreciated on the telephone.
Wrong numbers can be maddening but remember, it is not the caller’s fault. So don’t lose your temper. Politely tell him he is on the wrong line and disconnect. Never hang up on a person, however annoyed you are; it is like slapping the person on his face. When you call a person it is your prerogative to call off, never be rude on the phone.
Don’t make mischief calls. You might wake up a sleeping child or ailing old people.
If you happen to get a cross connection, don’t eaves drop.
Hello! Are you listening?