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Swellboy on… telephone etiquette

When it comes to excuses for not taking a phone call, this one is a corker

Swellboy on… telephone etiquette

Image: Brijesh Patel

December 28 2010
Nick Foulkes

Maybe you are looking for reasons not to take telephone calls, in which case I have a corker of an excuse that was used on me to great effect recently. I was researching an article, I forget about what exactly, but I had need of a few choice thoughts from the creative guy at a well-known accessories business. Often I am lucky enough to speak to the people who own these firms and I find that those who have built the businesses themselves are often amenable and happy to share their views. However on occasion one does encounter those who wish maintain some lofty mystique.

Lofty mystique is all very well, but it can be taken a little too far, as I found when I was told that my desired interlocutor would be unable to come to the telephone because of the Christmas holidays. I could understand this if I had happened to buzz him at home around lunchtime on December 25, but this was some time in early to mid-December.

Besides, he is not the only man to celebrate Christmas towards the end of the year, and if the feast of the birth of our Saviour proved such an insuperable barrier to telephonic connection, I wonder how he gets any work done at all, if, operating in the global marketplace as he does, he is equally respectful of traditions other than the Christian. On the birthday of Zoroaster I suppose he is down at his local fire temple marking the birthday of the prophet. And talking (but not on the telephone) of fire, I suppose he is unable to take calls during the pagan festival of Beltane which celebrates the fertility of the coming year with bonfires. And I will be sure not to call him around May 25, as this, as we all know, is the date upon which the first Star Wars film was released in 1977; a sacred day in the Jedi calendar.

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