There is someone I know who always answers her phone with a hello that is weighted down with misery.

Another friend I know has a chirpy, high pitched, high energy HELLOOOOO.  You’d swear she had won a lottery.

Then there is the one who barks HELLO.  Obviously she is having a bad day.

But my favourite  answers with a smile in her voice.  And make no mistake about it a smile is easily discernible.

Personally when I call someone there are two things I like to hear.  That is the sound of a smile and the sound of my name.  Let’s face it , if someone is smiling when your name is spoken, you feel liked and appreciated.  So the first  tip on answering a phone well is : smile  and use the person’s name as soon as it is given.  Try it.

I have , on occasion answered my phone and had someone ask , what’s wrong?  That is probably at a time when I have just finished a call and my ears have gotten tired.  It is a joke in my family that when mom’s ears get tired it is time to say good bye.  My kids have deliberately kept the conversation going to see how long I will last.  I am wise to it now .  No more timing my conversations.  When I am finished my last words are ,” Ok my ears are getting tired.  Love you.  Talk later. Bye”.  Then once I hear the ; “ok, mom, Love you too. Bye.”  I hang up. It is important to wait for the sign off from the other end before hanging up.  One of my friends just says ‘”Bye” and click , she hangs up leaving me with my mouth open.  It is enough to end a friendship.  But I don’t think she has any idea how rude it is unless it is done to her.

Other times I might be having a nap and the pleasantness hasn’t awakened so my usual musical hello is a grunt.

And then there is the time when my cheese bread is sending smoke signals out of the stove  and I answer the phone. Without even thinking I machine gun a Hello( quick breath) .Just a minute (another quick breath) Hold please?  and leap towards the oven burning myself in the process as I grab the pan from the oven. Then back I leap to the phone to apologize and turn on the sweetness.  That call more than likely is someone who has $3 000 000 that I need only pay a $200 fee to collect.  He deserves the bark and I don’t wait for the requisite bye before I bang the receiver down.

So when answering the phone great care should be taken to cultivate that smile.  It may take a verbal reminder before picking up the receiver. Say cheese!

Eventually we may have to look in the mirror to perfect the turn of our lips  as we use ipads, skype and other visual technology to communicate.  I wonder if I can buy a lipstick attachment for my ipad.  Must make sure the appearance of my lips fits the sound of my smile.


4 responses »

  1. I’m stun when I answer my phone. I have to wait until I’m talking for 20 seconds before I know who is calling. Most people don’t identify themselves, so I’m left to hear the message and then decipher whose voice it is. I’m very curt if I’m driving and the phone rings or I realize I don’t have any cash to get coffee, and no time to go to an ATM machine. Yes, you can tell if someone is smiling when you’re talking to them on the phone. I have several friends and relatives where I change ears many times to a total length of 90 minutes. This doesn’t occur often, but it can be a comfort on a stormy or miserable day. Or when a problem presents itself and I require a friend’s reassurance. Enjoyed your piece a great deal.

  2. Ah, Pauline, my dear you have many attributes that make up for an occasional curt response. And I’m sure you have forgiven me many times, LOl

  3. I always smile when I meet someone in person but on the telephone, that is a different matter. When the phone rings, I am influenced by the things around me e.g. hubby staring at me wanting to know who is calling. As soon as I figure out who the caller is, I have to interrupt the conversation to tell him so he can go merrily on his way. Sometimes, I am breathless when I run up a couple flights of stairs trying to get to the phone before the 4th ring. Your blog has reminded me of what is like on the other end of the phone and in the future, I will try to paste on a smile before I pick up the receiver. I love getting phone calls and the last thing I want to do is discourage my callers before we even get started.

    • I really didn’t have you in mind when I wrote. You are usually pleasant when you know it is me, anyway. LOL Can’t blame anyone if on occasion they sound distracted, sad or busy. I know I have my days too and I am trying to be aware of how I sound all the time. 🙂

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