Leaving Phone Messages

Many children like to use the telephone. It's fun to be able to talk to a relative who lives far away. It can be fun to call friends on rainy days. Everyone who plans to use a phone should use good phone manners. Do you know what to do when you can't reach the person you are calling? You can leave a message. Here's what to do.

Whether you are speaking to someone's voice mail, an answering machine, or a real, live person, you should speak clearly. Don't go too fast! Wait for the beep, and then say, "this is (your name)." Next you will need to recite your phone number. Even if you think your friend knows your number, it's polite to give it again. After that, you should give the name of the person whom you are calling. Also state your purpose if you have one. You may explain that you have a question about homework or that you wanted to invite your friend over for a snack. Whatever your message is, keep it short. Ask your friend to call you back. This is when you might give the best time to call, such as "between 6 and 8 p.m."

Suppose your friend isn't home, but another person answers the phone. What do you do? I hope you don't hang up! Speak with respect. "Aw, man, not you again" would be a rude thing to say! You can leave a message with the person who answered the phone. You can leave your name, phone number, and a short message. You can ask when your friend will return home. You might choose to call again later, or you might ask the person to have your friend call you back. Remember to tell them what time to call you back by. Your family won't be happy if your phone rings after you've all gone to bed!

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