Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hello, Reader, This is The-B-Hive

I didn't know that Cotillion was a class, but according to Wikipedia and King of the Hill, it is. Watching KOTH and Bobby trying out his newly learned manners on the phone got me wondering - does caller ID eliminate the need to identify one's self when making a call?

At first, I thought maybe it did - after all, you've got a pretty good chance to know who it is.... Doesn't seem that many people identify themselves when making calls anymore anyway and maybe that's because of caller ID - after all, it's not the latest invention.

After some thought, I think this is not such a positive development, though. At work, I have caller ID on my phone, so I can see from which phone someone is calling me, but I do not know who is calling and without them identifying themselves, I have to either ask who is calling or not care.

Because I share my phone with my manager, I usually pick up the phone and answer, "This is The-B-Hive." When I call someone, usually in response to a page, I also start by saying, "Hi, this is The-B-Hive, did you page?" Even at my clinic, if I intercom from one office to another, I quickly and briefly identify myself to the other person.

And it's not just at work, but even on personal phones, especially with the use of cell phones. I've both answered and made calls from my partner and my friends' phones and people will often simply start talking assuming that I am the owner of the cell phone without waiting for me to identify myself and without identifying themselves.

I haven't had any major misunderstandings or cases of mistaken identity from someone failing to identify themselves on the phone, but I think it's one of the niceties that keeps society lubricated and flowing smoothly, like most rules of etiquette.

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