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Phone Etiquette
January 30, 2007, 2:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have been told by three people in the past week that on the phone, I sound like I don’t want to talk to them. I sound distracted or like I’m really not interested in what they’re saying. These are people I want to talk to – not telemarketers or something. My mom, my sister, my old boss. And now that I’ve heard the cold hard truth from them, I realized that I have heard this quite a bit:

“Are you busy? You must be busy.”
“Are you working?”
“I can tell you’re busy, I’ll talk to you later.”
“Give me a call when you have more time to talk.”

This is totally weird to me. Because I know for a fact that I have, on several occasions, told people the cold, hard truth that I don’t have time, or that I’m in traffic, or that I am in the middle of something. I pride myself on being brutally honest with people. But clearly, my voice and my tone are not on board with me here…I have no control over them.

I’ve been sitting here thinking about it, and how or why this might be the case. I think I’ve figured it out. I spend most of my days talking to clients – either on the phone, or standing up in front of them in a presentation. And I DEFINITELY have a client voice. I know this. Once I get off the phone with a client, I almost always say to myself, “Who was that person?” It’s eager. It’s helpful. It’s over-accommodating. And I can’t stop it. So when I get on the phone with someone I love, I must retreat to the other end of the phone communication spectrum.

To all of you out there who think that I’m simultaneously folding laundry, pulling weeds and dribbling a basketball while I’m on the phone with you – I promise that I’m not. And if I’m busy, I promise that I will let you know. So don’t stop calling.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I know what you mean by a client voice. I have one too. Plus, I wear my niceness out and don’t want to talk to a soul sometimes after a long day. You’re not alone.

Comment by Windfall Woman

client voice = kiss-@ss voice

i’ve got that voice down too. i even have a hands-free headset to use at work…for the GarthBrooks in Concert effect 😉

Comment by sam

I’ve been told that it sounds like the person calling is bothering me. The truth is, I *am* usually in the middle of doing something, and I don’t like talking on the phone.

Comment by Jen




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