Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: SuperMartianRobotGirl on October 17, 2012, 10:17:05 AM

Title: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: SuperMartianRobotGirl on October 17, 2012, 10:17:05 AM
Am I handling this OK?

I have two kids, and 8 pm is the busiest time in my day. I have repeatedly told my sister to not call at  8 pm, and then that I could not answer at 8 pm. Finally I stopped answering at 8 pm.

I do check my phone to make sure it isn't an emergency call, but when I see it's her, I slide the little red phone icon so it stops ringing at get on with what I'm doing.

Well she can tell since it stops ringing and goes to voice mail (no she doesn't leave voice mail - she just calls over and over) that I'm screening her calls, and she got angry about it and said if I'm able to check who is calling, I'm able to answer her calls, and that I'm being rude.

I told her that I check to make sure there isn't an emergency, but I've told her numerous times that 8 pm doesn't work for me as a time to chat, and I will continue to not answer her if she calls at 8 pm. I asked her why it's always 8 pm anyway, and she said it's a good time for her. I repeated that it isn't a good time for me, so I wouldn't answer her calls at that time. She said that she might have to call with an emergency, and I told her that in that case, if it's at 8, she should text. She said what if she isn't able to text due to the emergency and has to call, and I told her if it's that bad she should call 911. That was about the end of that conversation, but it was strained.

If she doesn't call at 8, she calls right at 6, when I'm putting dinner on the table, so the next busiest time of day. This is very frustrating for me. She doesn't work business hours so she could call at 11, or 1, or 2, or 3, when things are usually pretty quiet, but she likes to talk in the evening I guess.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: O'Dell on October 17, 2012, 10:24:36 AM
Your sister is being a pill. You aren't rude to not answer. She is rude to keep calling and bugging you about not answering. (Although I do wonder why you make it obvious you are screening your calls. I don't think it's rude, but it does seem to exacerbate the situation.)

Do you call her when it's convenient for you? Either the 2 of you will chat and there is no need for an 8pm phone call *or* it will be inconvenient for her and you can deliberately echo what she's said to you and maybe she'll get it finally.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: MrTango on October 17, 2012, 10:43:17 AM
You aren't being rude at all.  It's your phone, and you get to decide when to use it and when not to use it.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Knitterly on October 17, 2012, 10:51:25 AM
If I were you, I would simply turn off (or mute) my phone at 8pm and turn it back on when it is convenient for me to chat. 

What are the odds that a terrible tragedy is going to strike at precisely 8pm on any given night?

You are not rude not to answer, no more rude than if you were out somewhere at 8pm and forgot your phone at home.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: wheeitsme on October 17, 2012, 11:00:16 AM
No.  It is not rude to not be at anyone's beck and call  ;) at any time they want.   You have told her when you are not available.  If she chooses to call you at that time, expecting you to pick up the call is rude.

We always know not to call my brother during dinner or after 9pm.  He prefers not to interrupt his dinner, and after 9 he's in bed.  It's a personal preference of his, and we respect it because, well... because that is the loving and polite thing to do.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Winterlight on October 17, 2012, 11:07:10 AM
You know, it would be really convenient-for me- to call my parents at 9am on Sundays. I'm up by then but not going anywhere and so it's a perfect time to call.

Except. They are four time zones behind me. That's a 5am call for them. It would be incredibly inconsiderate of me to expect them to give up their sleep so I can chat with them, when I can call them later in the day.

Your phone is for your convenience.

Quote
She said that she might have to call with an emergency, and I told her that in that case, if it's at 8, she should text. She said what if she isn't able to text due to the emergency and has to call, and I told her if it's that bad she should call 911.

Has she ever heard of the boy who cried wolf?
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: lowspark on October 17, 2012, 11:18:58 AM
If I were you, I would simply turn off (or mute) my phone at 8pm and turn it back on when it is convenient for me to chat. 

What are the odds that a terrible tragedy is going to strike at precisely 8pm on any given night?

You are not rude not to answer, no more rude than if you were out somewhere at 8pm and forgot your phone at home.

This.
Turn off your phone at times that are inconvenient for you and when sis complains, tell her that it's not up for discussion and that you get to determine when you want your phone to be on and when you want it to be off. Period.

And quit answering "what if" questions.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Tea Drinker on October 17, 2012, 11:30:04 AM
I'd figure out what was a good time for me to chat, and start calling her then. Either it would be an okay time for her as well, and you could have the conversations at your convenience, or you would get to make the point that your convenience is as important as hers. (I figure this is only evil if I deliberately picked times that I knew I'd be waking her.)
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Twik on October 17, 2012, 11:34:26 AM
Oh, it's convenient for her? That's nice! However, I'm not sure why her needs should take priority over yours.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Sophia on October 17, 2012, 11:34:38 AM
The thing is, if she stopped calling at 8pm, and then if she did call one day, you would probably answer, right?  Because then you would think that it was an emergency.  But, when she always calls at 8pm because it is a convenient time for her, that is what you are going to think it is.

Remember, just because someone is annoyed at you, doesn't mean it is rude. 

Me, I would make sure to call her on a regular basis.  For one thing she will have less to talk about in the evening.  Bonus points if you can find a time that is convenient for you and not her.  Then wait until she complains.  (But only do this if she continues to call you at 8pm or 6pm) 
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on October 17, 2012, 11:45:30 AM
To me, it sounds like a power play on her part.  She knows that it is the worst time to call, and yet she does it anyway.

As far as it being an emergency: tell her that she can call at 8 pm ONLY if it is an emergency, and you promise to answer.  However, if you answer the phone at 8 pm, and it is not an emergency, you will not answer her at 8 pm ever again, no matter the circumstances.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 17, 2012, 02:24:07 PM
My mother once told me she'd call me at 8 and I told her "Sorry, that's not a good time, I'll be putting the boys to bed at that time."  Sure enough she called at 8 anyway just wanting to chat and I told her again it wasn't good time and would call her back when I could chat. 

I hung up and went about my business, then when I had them all tucked in I called back and it wasn't even anything that couldn't have waited even another hour.  ::)
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: doodlemor on October 17, 2012, 09:40:43 PM
To me, it sounds like a power play on her part.  She knows that it is the worst time to call, and yet she does it anyway.

This is absolutely true.  My mother used to do this to me when I was expecting my first child.  I asked her please not to call on Sunday afternoons, because I was tired then and generally napped because I was still teaching full time.  She ignored my requests and unsympathetically told me to just go back to sleep after she had woken me up with her calls.  I started leaving the phone off the hook on Sundays.  [This was before the days of on-off switches and phones were hard wired right into the jack.]  I became the recipient of many lectures saying that it was very bad for the phone lines to be off the hook, but I was able to get some extra rest.

We have no hesitation about turning off our phones, the ringer, or the answering machine when we don't want to be disturbed.  We've been doing this now for more than 30 years, and have not missed any emergency calls so far. 

My point is that the phone is there to serve you, not your sister or anyone else.  Turn if off after supper every night if you want, and have a peaceful evening.  Your sister is rude, and way over the line.

Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: MariaE on October 18, 2012, 12:01:01 AM
As an aside, if your phone is an iPhone, you can press the button on the top of the phone to mute it when a call goes off. The call is still active, so she won't know she's being screened, it just doesn't bother you any longer.

I use that all the time at work if somebody calls while I'm in a meeting, because even the vibrator is LOUD!
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: SuperMartianRobotGirl on October 18, 2012, 09:57:45 AM
OK. I've decided to just turn the phone off in the evenings. :)
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: TootsNYC on October 18, 2012, 11:31:01 PM
I told her if it's that bad she should call 911.

Go, you!

In fact, you need to remember: There is almost NO emergency that REALLY needs you to answer then. If someone is at death's door, and you have 1 hour to get there before they die--maybe.

But if she sprains her ankle at the mall and can't drive home, some kind person at the mall will help her. At *least* until you are free and can call her back, in 1.5 hours. And if it's bad enough that medical attention will make a difference, then, in the words of SOMEONE wise, "Call 911."

I think that the reason she's calling you at 8pm, or in the evening, is that this is a normal time to connect with people, and you're the person she wants to connect with. (Does she have no family living with her, I wonder?)

She'll know you're screening her calls no matter what you do in the future w/ technology, but it might be good to fix it so that it doesn't automatically do that.

And I wouldn't check the phone at all--just set it so ALL calls go to the answering function.

And you might make it a point to call her back at a set time, and then say, "I want to talk to you each night, at 9:30--how does that fit your schedule?"

In other words, focus on a positive, what you DO want ("I want to speak with you at X time") and not on what you DON'T want ("I don't want to speak with you at 8pm").
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Rohanna on October 18, 2012, 11:56:58 PM
If it's an iphone, judging from your "slide the bar" comment:

Quote
The Do Not Disturb feature is great when you want to keep your iPhone quiet. Under the settings on your handset you can choose to toggle it or you can alternatively set up quiet times if you go into Settings, Notifications and then choose Do Not Disturb. You can now set yourself a time range and make sure that calls from contacts you choose always come through.

I love this feature, because my FIL *always* calls my phone at 8pm as well, even when he knows my husband is at work and that is when I am putting the kids to bed. Now I just filter calls out- but I don't have to worry about remembering to turn the phone back on. As well, there is an "emergency" setting that allows callbacks within 3 minutes to ring through, though that won't help with a persistant SS.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 19, 2012, 08:02:03 AM
Given your sister's previous controlling behavior and "Me, me, me" ways, yeah, you handled it just fine and I'm with PP's that it's totally controlling!
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Auntie Mame on October 20, 2012, 11:36:27 AM
As I explained to my Mom, a cell phone does not mean I am now on call 24/7.  I answer my phone only when it is convenient for me to talk.  If it's urgent, leave a message and I will check my voicemail and call back.

Your sister is being obnoxious and inconsiderate.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: JoW on October 20, 2012, 01:46:20 PM
Another think you can do is put her in your contacts list and assign her number the ring tone "no ring" if you never want to answer her calls, or a single beep if you want to know when she calls and answer when it works for you.

Refusing to chat with here when you are busy is perfectly reasonable. 
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Tea Drinker on October 20, 2012, 07:50:40 PM
Yesterday a friend of mine returned my call from the day before, and was somewhat apologetic about not having answered the phone at the time (because she was feeling stressed). Remembering this thread, I pointed out that I had just called to chat (that had been in my message) and added that she's not a paramedic, and if it had been an emergency, I would have called 9-1-1.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: Golden Phoenix on October 31, 2012, 03:26:02 PM
The great Stephen Fry describes the telephone as being the rudest invention of our time. He says it's the equivalent of someone standing in your house, banging on the table and shouting "Talk to me now! Talk to me now! Talk to me now!"

A ringing phone is not a summons although many people treat it that way. Feel free to ignore it. Your sister is being utterly obnoxious.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: tangelloyellow on November 02, 2012, 10:18:52 PM
I agree you were fine. I live time zones away from friends and family and I always take it into account.

None of my friends or family have requested I don't call at a certain time. I just worked it out through knowing what they get up to with commitments/kids/work.

The fact that you specifically outlined the bad times to call - and she still does it - is pretty selfish.

She sounds like a friend of mine who always calls when I am at work. Why dear friend? Why? In any case I just listen to her voice message and if it is not important I ring her back on the bluetooth while driving home.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: LilacRosey on November 04, 2012, 12:22:04 AM
I don't think you're doing anything wrong at all., LilacRosey
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: oogyda on November 09, 2012, 10:39:59 AM
If she doesn't call at 8, she calls right at 6, when I'm putting dinner on the table, so the next busiest time of day. This is very frustrating for me. She doesn't work business hours so she could call at 11, or 1, or 2, or 3, when things are usually pretty quiet, but she likes to talk in the evening I guess.

Why don't you call her 11, or 1, or 2, or 3?  Just every now and then to "train" her that this is when you have time to talk. 

If you just don't want to talk to her, you don't have JADE to us....or her.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: weeblewobble on November 11, 2012, 05:54:43 PM
It sounds like another example of your sister trying to power play you into doing something you don't want to do, because it will show that she has control over you.  She's getting upset because you're not playing along.  Good for you.
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: rain on November 17, 2012, 06:32:28 AM
update?
Title: Re: Not answering when someone calls at a certain time
Post by: thedudeabides on November 19, 2012, 04:41:19 PM
You're doing fine. I'd just turn the phone on silent and let it ring.