Hi, I Can’t Talk

I used to get miffed; now I just get curious. Why do people answer the phone if they can’t talk?

Don’t get me wrong. I understand answering when you don’t have an hour and a half to chat. But, there is one person in particular in my life who will answer saying, “I can’t talk. Can I call you back?” Well, yes, you most certainly may call me back. But, why in the world did you answer in the first place?

I grew up in the days before answering machines. In those days you answered a ringing phone as if it were an emergency, because if you didn’t you had no way of knowing who it was or what they wanted. With the advent of answering machines, (followed by voicemail and caller ID) there’s no longer a need to rush for a ringing phone as if a life depended on it.

I would also understand it if I called several times in a row as if it were extremely important that I talk with this person. I don’t.

Here’s my suggestion. Unless you have about five minutes of time to ascertain the purpose for the call and any action that might need to be taken, don’t answer. You can see that it’s me. I’ll leave a message. Call me back at your convenience. Or, text me an answer if you’re going to be unable to get back to me anytime soon. I’ll understand.

Really, why do people do that?


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