Dear Miss Manners: I detest receiving telemarketing calls. I use my answering machine as a screening device and try not to answer calls unless I recognize the number.
However, at times I mistakenly answer a telemarketer's call — especially if it's my cellphone and I'm expecting business calls from unknown numbers.
When I do get a legal telemarketing call, I politely inform the caller that I am not interested and ask them to remove my phone number from their list. This often leads to them talking louder to keep me from finishing my response, while I'm trying to reiterate that I am not interested, wish them a good day and get off the phone. (If it's an illegal or automated call, I just hang up.)
I don't want to be rude in response; no matter how annoying I find them, they're just doing their jobs. However, I cannot think of another response at that point other than to loudly say, "As I SAID, I am NOT INTERESTED! Have a nice day," and then hang up on them. Is this acceptable, when they refuse to let me politely and properly end the call?
Housebreakers are also only doing their jobs when they force entry into your home. Nevertheless, you should not welcome them.
Unsolicited telemarketing is, at best, an intrusion into your home. Miss Manners does not consider that license for you to be rude, but neither are you bound to treat such calls as legitimate exchanges, for which you must reach a mutual agreement to end.
The word that should follow the declaration of your lack of interest is “Goodbye,” and it should be followed with a click.
Dear Miss Manners: The morning after enjoying a lovely evening, including dinner, at a new acquaintance's home, I sat down and wrote a thank-you note. The same day, the hostess emailed me a "thank you" for the gift I had brought her, adding that she'd enjoyed the evening. I responded, thanking her for her hospitality.
While I was quite pleased with her email, feeling it unnecessary since she had thanked me in person, I felt like I had been rude by not sending an email thank-you sooner. I was also embarrassed, wondering if she might think I remembered my manners only when prompted by her message.
In the future, in addition to the "snail mail" thank-you note, should I send an email thank-you as well?
The issues here are speed versus charm, and the degree of formality required. But you needn’t wrestle with this, because everything was as it should be.
It was odd and unnecessary for your hostess to say she enjoyed the evening, because after all, she is the one who gave it. Miss Manners is reluctant to discourage any expressions of thanks, but, as in your case, this is more apt to puzzle than to gratify the recipient. Wedding guests who have not yet sent presents but are thanked for attending a wedding interpret such letters as dunning them.
That aside, the message was informal enough to be sent by email, the speed of which was incidental.
Thanks for a dinner party is something of a formal requirement, and thus should be handwritten and mailed. Your hostess will be just as happy a few days later to hear that her party was a success.