Speakerphones: Their Secret Annoyance

Hopefully most of us are aware of the irritation caused the volume and inane chatter blaring from a colleague's speakerphone conversation that we don't do the same. I've termed an often disregarded aspect of their usage a secret annoyance; this one might not be so obvious, yet if you accidentally commit this faux pas yourself, it could tarnish your business savvy.

To illustrate, nearly all phone calls I receive via someone using their speakerphone begin this way:

  • I answer the phone with either my headset* or hand-held receiver*
    *Have found that neither makes a difference in muffling the noise.
  • The volume is turned down as low as possible on my phone
  • In most cases, before the caller identifies themselves, I am greeted with a loud, crash-clang sound of the receiver being snapped up from the cradle by the caller.
This freakin' hurts my ears, and I receive many calls on a daily basis in this manner.

The impetus for writing this is my bewilderment at how the caller, instead of gently picking up the receiver when I answer, clamors for it as though it's the last $3 case of Coke at the Walmart.

What do I do to spare my ears? Let it run to voicemail and then, unless requiring live talk, send a timely reply via voicemail.

True, in the grand scheme of things, this is just a mild annoyance and I could also answer via speakerphone to return the favor. However, that's not my style and the caller most likely won't get why I'm doing it anyway.

What's the point of this entry other than a good rant?
Think about this: If little ol' me near the bottom of the ladder in the company doesn't quite like this, keep that in mind when you're calling a big wig and want to make a good impression. You could either sound like that caller rushing for the $3 Coke case in Walmart, or you could sound polished and aware of how to appropriately use your office equipment.

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