she who keeps this diary

06 October 2004 - 9:45 AM

Etiquette Notes

When an event flyer list a phone number thusly: 410-555-5455 NLT 9PM, NLT means 'no later than.' I would hope that it would therefore be abundantly obvious that calling a number with the NLT 9 PM tag at 10:30 PM is rude.

If you are the sort of person who is going to ignore the NLT tag and call me at 10:30 at night to ask a question about the event, it would be nice if you would address me with a certain apologetic politeness, rather than acting annoyed that you can't figure out the fee schedule in the event flyer and calling me 'hon' in patronising tones.

Now, I will accept being called 'hon' by Baltimore ladies of a certain age, because the 'hon' address is part of the linguistic heritage of that city. I will likewise accept being called 'sweetie' and 'baby' by the ladies who work the checkouts at the local market, because they mean it with nothing but the best and kindest of intentions. But I object to answering the phone and being told the fee schedule isn't clear, 'hon,' with the implication that somehow this is my fault.

The whole format of the flyer in the Acorn is pure Acorn-editor work. I submitted the information through SPIKE, which means I entered the details in a variety of boxes, hit the 'submit' button, and it was out of my hands. Strangely, no one else has communicated displeasure or confusion with the fee schedule.

Oh, and did I mention that this call came in at 10:30 at night, a good hour and a half after the time when I had requested people stop calling me?

I don't object to people phoning me to ask questions about the event. I don't even necessarily object to people phoning me for other reasons, though I am likely to be surprised if someone phones me just to chat. But the NLT 9 PM thing isn't there on a whim, and I would like people to respect it, especially on weeknights.

I have a bastard of a commute, approximately 35 miles one way, and over some of the busiest roads in the area. If I leave my house by 7:15, it takes me 45 minutes to get to work, barring accidents or vehicle fires or other such impediments. I spend 8 hours at the office, and since it is always rush hour here, it does not matter which route I take on the return trip. It takes me 90 minutes to get home. When I do get home, I have household chores to accomplish, projects to work on, and a husband who would like some attention. By 9 PM, I am done. Stick a fork in me.

By rights, I shouldn't even have answered the phone last night. But Maman is out of town, and I am sufficiently a worrywart to half-expect any late night phone call to be an emergency.

(Emergencies, are, by the way, the exception to the NLT 9 PM rule. If it's an emergency and you need me now, call, even if it's 3 AM).

'I can't figure out the fee schedule for the event' is not, however, an emergency situation. Unless, perhaps, it's an emergency that your personal stupidity and/or rudeness has suddenly spiked to a critical level. If this is the case, perhaps you should find an etiquette hotline to call, rather than me. I mean, while a soul-crushing might help bring your stupid/rude level back down, it's (a) a drastic solution and (b) an expense of energy I can't really afford on the average weeknight.

I need my sleep.

verso - recto

The WeatherPixie

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