When is it reasonable to….?

5 November 2015

At the time of writing, I am well past the point at which I would even vaguely consider picking up the telephone to call someone in England, unless it was an absolute emergency. Canada? Australia? Fine. But, anyone resident in a European country, would not appreciate the noise of their telephone at this ungodly hour.

Yesterday, during my ‘alter-ego hours’, I received several missed calls from a known caller. Just as I was wending my merry way back to Calne (FWL HQ) at 9:30pm GMT, the car sound system was filled with ring ring, ring ring. The same number…. so I answered it with an unusual, “Erm, hello?

The person at the other end wanted to ask me about what I had done since I had left the University of Reading for some survey or another and also, she went on, ask me to donate to their alumni fund. “It’s half past 9”, I said. Her response? “Oh, is this not a good time?”….

I am not sure how you cannot figure that phoning someone (unannounced and unsolicited) at 9:30 at night, is not reasonable. It’s not appropriate. There are very few people I would call at that time of night (in non-emergency situations) – Mr FWL and Ma and Pa FWL. Otherwise, I would ask if it is OK to call first…. wouldn’t you?

The chances of continuing the conversation with me were pretty slim from the outset and even more so when there was no understanding from the caller that calling so late was not appreciated. Perhaps I am just slightly eccentric? Maybe other people don’t mind receiving cold calls at 9:30pm and being asked inane questions?

It’s funny actually because a client also rang last Sunday evening expecting me to be available to discuss the work we are doing for him and his family…. on a Sunday evening?! I am not sure what is worse: 9:30pm on a weekday or a Sunday evening?!

Good manners cost nothing. Bad manners can cost you your reputation…. so the saying goes.

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