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160 votes
Accepted

How to politely interrupt recruiters who keep cold-calling me during my work hours?

Keep this in mind: recruiters are salespeople. They get paid when positions get filled. They want to pursue potential opportunities and not go after something that won't work. That said, showing ...
baldPrussian's user avatar
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76 votes
Accepted

How do I politely end a cold call I've received?

One of my roommates, when I was younger, worked in a call center... Believe it or not, the people calling you hate doing it more than you hate being called. He didn't last long working there, but came ...
apaul's user avatar
  • 54.8k
71 votes

How can I convincingly communicate to a friend that I don't have a 'personal' mobile number?

Just tell the person that your mobile phone is only for family calls: "I'm sorry, but I only use my mobile number to contact my family. I do have a phone number, though: <home number>"...
Cerbrus's user avatar
  • 797
70 votes

How can I ask (or determine) if someone on the phone is human without offending them?

I once worked at an IT-Service hotline. I answered a call like I always do and after my standard greetings phrase the customer said nothing so I asked, "Hello? Are you still in the line?" The ...
undefined's user avatar
  • 1,067
67 votes

How can I get my friend to stop calling me every day?

I think that you're going to have to set a boundary, enforce the boundary, and try not to care about his reaction. This will probably mean accepting that the friendship might end. With my mother (and ...
RamblingChicken's user avatar
62 votes

How to avoid "who are you?" as a response to "how are you?"

You're going to have to find out who they are regardless of how well they know you. You start with something softer. Sorry I've recently got a new phone, who's speaking, please? This basically ...
Bradley Wilson's user avatar
62 votes

How to ask a casual acquaintance for phone number without being awkward?

I find that you have two prime options - Give her your number and let her decide what to do with it from there If you choose this method, try explaining your situation, something along the lines of: ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
  • 22.7k
59 votes

Who should identify themself first on the phone: the caller or the person called?

If you are the caller, it's required that you give your introductions unless they are known colleagues and relatives. From Phone Etiquette by Hiltmon: It is the caller’s responsibility to ensure ...
A J's user avatar
  • 7,700
55 votes

How can I ask (or determine) if someone on the phone is human without offending them?

The best strategy I can think of is to ask "can you repeat that?" If the repeated statement is exactly the same (volume, word choice, inflection, etc.) as the first statement, you may have caught the ...
justathought's user avatar
  • 1,432
34 votes

How do I politely end a cold call I've received?

The cold caller is working through a list, not trying to establish a relationship with you (other than getting your money). In that situation, "no thank you, I'm not interested -- please put me on ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
32 votes

How to contact a girl whose number I got from somebody else?

Contact Alex or his bandmate again and ask him to forward her your number and a brief explanation: you very much enjoyed talking to her at the concert and would like to meet her again if she's ...
AllTheKingsHorses's user avatar
26 votes

How to politely interrupt recruiters who keep cold-calling me during my work hours?

An alternative solution that may work for you depending on your phone philosophies is don't answer the phone for unrecognized numbers. Set your answering machine to say something like, You have ...
BlackThorn's user avatar
  • 3,240
23 votes
Accepted

A stranger keeps calling and is confused that my phone number is his friend's old phone number

First thing to keep in mind is that not everyone understands technology the way that we do. It's frustrating to those of us who work in technology to have to explain something that we consider so ...
baldPrussian's user avatar
  • 32.4k
23 votes

How to end a work conversation on the phone?

If you can't change the timing of these phone calls, then whenever you start the call make sure to warn your boss of your time limits. Hi Boss! Before we start I just want to give you a heads up ...
David K's user avatar
  • 1,685
22 votes

Who should identify themself first on the phone: the caller or the person called?

The caller should identify themselves first. That is the best approach when calling someone who doesn't know you already or have your name in their contacts. But the recent changes could be because: ...
NVZ's user avatar
  • 10.2k
21 votes

How do I politely end a cold call I've received?

It's like they have a plan of pitch depending upon which responses of rejection they receive. Yes. They usually have a script to follow. In the late '90s, the Dutch privacy artist EGBG (real name ...
SQB's user avatar
  • 4,962
21 votes
Accepted

How to tell people that I don't like answering my phone?

If it's someone you know fairly well, I would recommend politely saying: I'd rather text/email. I'll be able to provide you with more details if I'm able to visually see my thoughts before giving ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
  • 22.7k
21 votes

How to ask a casual acquaintance for phone number without being awkward?

The simplest way is to set something up. You're married. She's married. Know any party games or board games for 4 people? Talk it over with your spouse and find something that's fun that you think ...
corsiKa's user avatar
  • 1,506
19 votes

How to avoid "who are you?" as a response to "how are you?"

When I get calls like this, I just lead the conversation. I respond to the question with something like, I'm doing great. What can I do for you? Typically, the caller will introduce or identify ...
Chris E's user avatar
  • 424
18 votes
Accepted

How do I become better on the phone?

I assume that you have already looked into technical solutions regarding bad reception (turning up the volume, requesting a better phone, etc), and that you also rule out physical hearing issues. ...
tim's user avatar
  • 1,541
18 votes

How to contact a girl whose number I got from somebody else?

I would just contact her because really, if she did like you, it will not be creepy to her, it will be welcome. Just be very apologetic: I'm sorry to be calling/texting you but this is the only way ...
Phoebe Phoebe's user avatar
16 votes

Who should identify themself first on the phone: the caller or the person called?

(1) Interestingly, points of telephone etiquette regarding order of statements of number-confirmation and self-identification vary across cultures. I have read that in many parts of UK people actually ...
English Student's user avatar
16 votes

How do express my condolences, when I couldn't show up at the funeral?

Write a letter and send it via good old fashioned Snail Mail. I have experienced a similar situation in which my aunt passed and the funeral was in the Midwest and I lived in New England (United ...
james's user avatar
  • 754
16 votes
Accepted

How to stop people from assuming I am female on the telephone?

I have a stutter. It's a small one, so people don't really realize I'm stuttering. It comes across more like I'm insecure about what I'm saying. So even though it's a bit awkward, I just tend to ...
MlleMei's user avatar
  • 5,410
15 votes

How to avoid "who are you?" as a response to "how are you?"

"Who is this?" should be pretty neutral and understandable. Possible variations: "I'm sorry, who is this?", "I'm sorry, whom am I speaking with?"
user541686's user avatar
  • 2,255

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