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Author Topic: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person  (Read 2462 times)

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Venus193

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Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« on: April 05, 2015, 07:32:01 PM »
This is posted out of genuine curiosity because I'm not sure how to feel about this.

I was at a friend's place for the afternoon today and she took a call from a cousin in another state.  Between my hostess and her sister they were on the phone with the cousin for a combined total of half an hour.  They haven't seen this cousin in a few years and typically talk on holidays or birthdays, but might keep up on Facebook.  My friend's husband was out on an errand and her son was fixated on his tablet during this conversation.  My friend took the call and exited the living room to talk, then returned to hand the receiver to her sister, who stayed in the living room and talked at the same volume as if she had been talking to the other people in the room.

While I am a friend of sufficiently long standing to be regarded as "family of choice" I have never met the cousin.  I also suspect that my friend's son may not have met her more than once, as he didn't talk to her.

Since this situation is probably commonplace now because people move all over the place, what should be the protocol?

  • This situation is acceptable
  • Host(ess) should inform relatives in advance about having company and suggest calling earlier or later
  • Host(ess) should limit the conversation to 10 minutes and call back after guests have gone
  • Relatives should call another day

RainyDays

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2015, 07:41:12 PM »
15 minutes each to say hi to someone (and likely do a mini catch-up, since it seems they rarely talk) does not seem very long to me at all. Given that it's a holiday, I think it is completely fine. If she was hosting your on a different day, I would think she'd relay to cousin that she had company and would call back.

But this is really common in my family, to take calls from an out of state relative on holidays, talk, pass the phone around, etc. I get that you aren't family in this situation, but you were at their house on a holiday.

TootsNYC

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2015, 07:44:33 PM »
I think the only part that was -really- rude was for the woman to have the phone conversation -in the room.-

She should have follow the other person's example and stepped away into another room to have that conversation.

pattycake

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2015, 07:46:01 PM »
As long as you weren't being totally ignored by the person who was not on the phone, I don't think it's bad. I agree, the one talking should be courteous enough to take the call (more quietly!) in another room.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2015, 07:53:41 PM »
I was the hostess in this situation today. My sis in another state and I have been playing telephone tag for 2 days. My SIL and her BF were the last remaining guests (1st arrived at 11:30 and this was around 4) when sis called. I answered and took the call in another room while DH and DD remained to carry on the conversation. I returned in about 15 ton20 min to find they had all started a game. Had the guests not been close relatives I wouldn't have taken the call.

I don't think if hosting on holidays your required to completely ignore your other relatives. We usually host and most holidays gatherings go from late morning to early to late evening. It would upset me to learn a guest begrudge me a break to visit with my other relatives for the entire holiday.

I do make sure to take the call in another room to not disrupt everyone. The only person I think was rude was the sister taking the call n the same room.

CakeEater

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2015, 08:05:45 PM »
I think it somewhat depends on the length of your visit. You said, 'for the afternoon', so I'm imagining from 12 til 5, or something like that.

In that case, each person taking the call for 15 minutes seems perfectly fine to me.

If you were there for 90 minutes or 2 hours, I'd probably say that the should have told their cousin that they'd call back after you'd gone.

peaches

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2015, 09:26:48 PM »
I think it somewhat depends on the length of your visit. You said, 'for the afternoon', so I'm imagining from 12 til 5, or something like that.

In that case, each person taking the call for 15 minutes seems perfectly fine to me.

If you were there for 90 minutes or 2 hours, I'd probably say that the should have told their cousin that they'd call back after you'd gone.

I agree. Taking a short call during a long visit doesn't seem objectionable.

Another caveat (to me) is that guests not be left alone to fend for themselves.

And it's best to remove yourself from the room, so that others don't have to listen to half a conversation, or have their own conversation overridden.

Lynn2000

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2015, 11:04:20 AM »
This situation overall seems normal to me. I do think the woman who stayed in the room to talk was rude (I'm assuming she had no mobility issues). Ideally, with the person on the phone out of the room, the other people left in the room would continue to socialize, and the switch would be barely noticed by the other guests. So there may have been some failing on the part of other people to keep the conversation up (though it would be rather difficult to do so during the portion where the woman on the phone stayed in the same room).

In my extended family there is usually at least one phone call from a geographically distant cousin on Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are calling the host of the gathering, who is usually their parent, knowing that there is a gathering and that they will be handed around the group--that's what they want. IME, these people often don't keep in contact very well, and if the host says, "I can't talk to you right now as I have guests," there is a strong likelihood that the caller won't call back for a long time.  :-\ Of course in some cases it would be very rude to take the call even with that pressure, but that's the reality on the ground, and I think with a larger group it doesn't seem like that big a deal.
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bah12

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2015, 11:13:20 AM »
In general, I think it's ok.  You're a good friend and you were there for a long-ish period of time on a major holiday.  15 minutes each seems reasonable...especially since your friend and her sister took turns, which would leave one of them to continue to engage you. 

I think the protocol is to exit the room and keep the phone call relatively short (perhaps arrange another time to talk longer).  Your friend did this correctly.  It was rude of the sister to remain in the room during the phone call.  Had I been your friend, I probably would have suggested that you and I go to another room where you could hear each other speak once it was clear that sister wasn't going to move.

Nuala

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2015, 09:13:43 PM »
Overall, I think it was rude.

I don't like it when people take such calls when they have company. I think the people who are there should be the priority. I have had family call when I'my entertaining, but I ask if I can call back later because I have guests.

It's different when some of the family is here for a holiday and another family member calls. We take turns talking, but I still leave the room so that I don't interrupt their games or show or whatever they were doing.

Are there other exceptions? Sure. Waiting to test results? Take the call. Relative calling before she heads to  International Space Station? Tell her bon voyage from me. But somebody just calling to say hi? That can wait.


Venus193

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2015, 10:53:13 PM »
This situation overall seems normal to me. I do think the woman who stayed in the room to talk was rude (I'm assuming she had no mobility issues). Ideally, with the person on the phone out of the room, the other people left in the room would continue to socialize, and the switch would be barely noticed by the other guests. So there may have been some failing on the part of other people to keep the conversation up (though it would be rather difficult to do so during the portion where the woman on the phone stayed in the same room).



You're right; she doesn't have mobility issues.  And she was talking loud enough for the rest of us to have had problems.  It was like everything stopped at that moment.

Thanks, all.  You've clarified exactly what was wrong with this situation.

TootsNYC

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 11:19:53 AM »
Relative calling before she heads to  International Space Station? Tell her bon voyage from me.

You're related to Peggy Whitson?

SamiHami

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Re: Holiday Phone Calls vs Guests in Person
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2015, 01:38:06 PM »
Overall, I think it was rude.

I don't like it when people take such calls when they have company. I think the people who are there should be the priority. I have had family call when I'my entertaining, but I ask if I can call back later because I have guests.

It's different when some of the family is here for a holiday and another family member calls. We take turns talking, but I still leave the room so that I don't interrupt their games or show or whatever they were doing.

Are there other exceptions? Sure. Waiting to test results? Take the call. Relative calling before she heads to  International Space Station? Tell her bon voyage from me. But somebody just calling to say hi? That can wait.

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