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Hoy, hoy!
2005-04-26 - 4:51 p.m.

Alexander Graham Bell thought the telephone should properly be answered by saying, "Hoy! Hoy!".

Thomas Alva Edison championed "Hello" as the standard greeting.

Being freethinkers, we don't limit ourselves to just either of these two greetings. I've made many calls to people that have been answered "Yeah?" or "Go" or "What?"

Telephone manners are dying a slow, painful death.

I can understand that people are individuals, and that they want to show it as often as possible. But answering the phone "What?" is just a little rude. At least I think so.

Phone Munchers
What's with people eating while they're talking to you on the phone? I don't find anything endearing about that. I don't like trying to figure out what you are saying through a mouth full of Fritos, and it also makes it seem like there is something that you'd rather be doing than talking to me on the phone. If I call somebody, and they're in the middle of eating, I apologize for interrupting them and tell them I'll call them back later. The people that insist that I stay on the phone while they eat trouble me. The people that call me while they're eating something really puzzle me. Stop it!

Throne Calls
Don't ever call me when you are on the toilet, unless you want me to hang up on you immediately. I was once dating a girl, we were having a phone conversation, and suddenly the audio quality from her side was somehow different. I detected a slight echoing that was added to the conversation. "Are you in the bathroom?" I asked. "Uh...yes." she answered. "Goodbye" I said, and hung up the phone. I've been married to my wife for nearly nine years. I don't want to know what it sounds like when she goes to the bathroom. I certainly don't want to know what it sounds like when someone else is in there.

Phone Kids
Ever have one of those phone conversations where you call a friend, and you can't talk to them at all because their kids keep coming in to the room to annoy them or ask them questions? Man I hate that. I realize that kids are inquisitive when they're young, but why do they seem to get the most inquisitive when I try to talk to someone on the phone? Sheesh.
Worse still are the folks that have kids that can't quite talk yet, but every time you call them, they want to get junior on the phone. "Do you want to say Hello to Uncle Pungo?". This is not amusing, it is not productive, and it just makes me angry. I called to talk to you, not your kids.

The Dropouts
I have a couple of friends that, evidently, think that it's a bit too "sissy" to say "goodbye" to anyone on the telephone. So what do they do instead? They just hang up. And I'm on the other end of the phone, still attempting to talk to a dead line. What the hell? I'm not asking you make kissy noises, or say "I love you", just "goodbye" would be good. Or "'bye" or "later", just something that lets me know that you're hanging up, and I don't need to keep talking.

The "You First"s
Ever finish a phone conversation with someone that won't hang up until they hear you hang up? Actually, this is a good bit of phone manners that I wish more people had. But if two of these people ever call one another, they're both going to be waiting a really long time.

Speedy Numbers
These are the folks that can carry on a four-minute conversation with your answering machine, taking all the time in the world to leave a message. They're not in any kind of hurry at all. Until they leave you a number to return their call - " if you could call me back at threetwothreenineoneninesix that would be great". GAAAHHHHH!!! I can't write the number down as quickly as they sprint through it, so now I have to listen to the entire four-minute message again. In some ways, I think that this should be prosecuted as domestic terrorism.

Just A Minute
Why do people call me while they are busy talking to someone else? I pick up the phone, answer "Hello", and get "Hold on just a minute" and someone turning to talk to someone else. Why the hell did you just call me if you're in the middle of talking to someone? These people are in the same league with the folks that are talking to you, and then drop out in the middle of a thought because they're watching television. Either hang up the phone or turn off the television. Now.

So, how many of these folks do you talk to on a daily basis? How many of you reading this are the people that I've listed above?

It's never too late to change your evil ways.

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