How to Answer Your Phone

-Forget about caller ID. Just because you don’t recognize a number does not mean that it’s not someone you need to talk to. Even if you recognize the number and think you know what the person wants, there’s a chance you’re wrong. Just answer it. Screening may help you avoid some hassles, but it will also cause you to miss some blessings, as well. Even the harshest bill collector or boss can’t really do anything to you over the phone. Your safety is important, and Caller ID has probably saved at least one life. But if avoiding callers is just digging you a deeper hole of procrastination and deception, examine that. Don’t avoid the salesman, just have the gumption to tell him no.

-Not only answer it; answer it on the first ring whenever possible. If you stare at the caller ID for a few rings moaning about how you don’t want to talk to this person, then answer it, that will probably not be a pleasant call.  There are times when you don’t want to seem too eager, but you don’t want to get carried away with that type of egocentric posturing. Just answer it. It eliminates suspicion. By answering quickly, the person on the other end will never guess that you’re in the process of eating an entire half-gallon of ice cream.

-When you pick up and say, “Hello,” smile. The other person can hear it.

-Consider saying something besides “Hello” when you answer. I like “Yello.” In Japan they say “Moshi moshi.” Every now and then, when I’m feeling random, I’ll improvise a greeting, like, “Good morning, Roy’s Fish Market.”

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