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answering the phone

 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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The NY Times wrote about phones/texts/etc again. This time was about whether to answer the phone when it rings. The author of the article said she never answers the phone letting it go to voicemail and texting/email about a time to call back. THis stemmed from the feeling that a call is intrusive.

I see a few schools of thought on this:
1) Never answer the phone
2) Look who it is and then answer (assuming you recognize the # and are available to talk)
3) Always answer (assuming you recognize the # and available to talk)

Where do you lie? I'm at 3. I hardly ever get calls on my cell phone. Which means when they do, they are important. The available to talk disclaimer applies though.

I do schedule some calls though. My mother and I plan in advance when to talk since it is just chatting. And I schedule Skype calls about projects. But those are more like meetings.
 
Jayesh A Lalwani
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Look who it is and answer. Usually I don't answer unknown numbers unless I'm expecting a call from an unknown number
 
Steve Luke
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I am firmly in the second group. Check the number and decide if I will answer based on the who and when of the call.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Depends on who is calling, and what I'm doing at the time, but usually I'll answer. Not numbers I don't know, though - but that's rare, as I don't publish my number anywhere.

I don't buy the point about intrusiveness. The other person means to talk to you, otherwise they'd text or send email. Scheduling a half hour call is fine, but most calls are far shorter, and that would be overkill.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:I don't buy the point about intrusiveness. The other person means to talk to you, otherwise they'd text or send email. Scheduling a half hour call is fine, but most calls are far shorter, and that would be overkill.

Right. The two types of calls I schedule are longer.
 
chris webster
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Mobile or landline?

Landline: I mostly answer calls as we don't usually get nuisance calls from offshore sales centres etc (unlike my late mother who used to get several such calls a day, which was really intrusive and annoying), and our number is ex-directory, so we mostly get calls only from people we know, which we would generally want to receive. But I'm so old I can remember when all phones were attached to the wall of your house, you had to prove to the phone company that you were a fit and proper person to have a telephone connection, and getting a phone call usually meant somebody had died!

Mobile: I rarely answer my mobile unless I'm expecting a call. Most of the time I leave it switched off so it doesn't pester me, then I check my voicemail a couple of times a day. My family have my work or home phone numbers, so if there were a real emergency they could still reach me most of the time, except when I'm driving when I can't answer the phone anyway. I have about a zillion minutes of "free" calls on my monthly phone contract and I never use them either.

My wife, on the other hand, always answers her mobile phone, and indeed rarely turns the darned thing off. Or maybe she just welcomes the distraction when I'm around....
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Oh yeah: I never answer my landline at home any more, letting the answering machine get it instead. It's a habit I picked up in the US, where telemarketers got hold of the number (this was before blacklists). Only family and friends have it these days, but I want to educate them to use the mobile number :-)

And I don't give out my company phone number to private contacts, I want to keep that separate.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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I had meant mobile.

For my landline, I'll answer it directly if I recognize the number and happen to be near it. Most of the time I let the answer machine get it and then pick up if it is someone I know. I'm on the do not call lists but there are a lot of places that are allowed to call you anyway. (politicians, charities and surveys are the big ones.) My wanted call to junk call ratio is pretty poor.

The only reason I still have a landline (vs VOIP) is for emergencies. It has two advantages:
1) Works in a power outage.
2) If you have to call 911 (emergency), they can trace the call to your address AND apartment number. Even if you can't talk and are just banging on the phone.
 
Rohit Kumar Singh
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Me too in the Second Group , When I am at work, most of the time my Cell is Switched off, after that, first I'll see who it is, then i will answer the call...
 
Dieter Quickfend
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I always answer if I am not otherwise occupied. I've been having trouble with telemarketers calling anonymously lately, so I've taken to blocking all anonymous calls (it normally can't be done, but I found an android app that can do it).

But yeah, for me 3 is the way to go as well.
 
Anand Hariharan
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:(...)
I see a few schools of thought on this:
1) Never answer the phone
2) Look who it is and then answer (assuming you recognize the # and are available to talk)
3) Always answer (assuming you recognize the # and available to talk)

Where do you lie? I'm at 3.


I do not understand the difference between #2 and #3. In both cases it seems that one looks at the number, recognises it, figures he/she has the time to talk, and answers the phone. Perhaps #3 should not include the bit about recognising the number? (No, I didn't read the NYT article.)
 
Greg Charles
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I agree with Anand. The parenthetical part of 3 implies that you look who's calling. I always answer unless I'm in a meeting or otherwise engaged. Even then, I look to see who's calling. Texts are better though, right? It's easy to glance down at a text even during a meeting to see if it's, "Just wanted to say hi," or, "The house is on fire."
 
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