Friday, February 27, 2009

I've Had Enough of You! Good bye!

There are some things that I don’t do well and one of them ending a phone conversation smoothly. I don't transition well. When I get tired of speaking on the phone, I say "Ok, good bye" which I thought was perfectly appropriate, until a college friend pointed out that it was really sudden and I didn’t give adequate warning.
What does that mean? Should I be starting every phone conversation with a "I don’t want to alarm you, but I will be ending this conversation at some point, so please do not get too attached"?
Recently John and I were on the phone and when I tried to get rid of him with a "well, I better get going," he became enraged.
"I am the man," he told me. "I will decide when this conversation is over." So we talked about that for a while, and about which one of us is the more masculine, all things considered and then he said something like, "ok, you're draining me," and hung up.
One of the magazines I read said that a good way to end a phone conversation is "I'm sorry that I have to let you go."  I think that sounds like you're struggling with mental illness, and not winning.
So, if you have any tips  on ending the phone conversation smoothly, please share.
Ok, I'm bored now. 

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Blogger Belle said...

Oh for gods sake. Tell them to fuck off and put the phone down. If they were your REAL friends they wouldn't be offended in the least.

February 27, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Belle said...

Someone mentioned that you were giving away the VT Mini for the first person that commented today - Should I send you my address?

February 27, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous denise said...

I can't wait to hear the proper way to end a conversation. Bottom line you run out of things to say and let them know you have to get going. What is so wrong with that. Another issue I am having is ending an instant message. I guess it would be the same as on the phone. Maybe it's the Russian blood. I find I don't beat around the bush much. I am assuming you are of some sort of Russian (or something similiar) descent also.

February 27, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Maelstrom said...

Okay, I'll give you 2 of my techniques.

1: I like to turn my head away from the phone and yell "Okay, just a sec!" and then into the phone say "Hey, I have to go, my kid just set the fish tank on fire."

2: I say "Hey, I think the battery in my cordless is about to" and then I just hang up.

Luckily my wife will never see these comments.

February 27, 2009 at 9:40 AM  
Anonymous apathy lounge said...

I usually lie and claim that someone (usually a child) needs my immediate attention. I have a friend who does this all of the time that it is stunning how quickly she can get off of a phone.

February 27, 2009 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Madge said...

ok, i hate when people say, "well, i'll let you go."

did i say i wanted to go? no, i didn't. so if the person i am talking to wants to hang up, maybe they should say, "well, you'll let me go now.' or something. but not something like they are actually doing me a favor.

February 27, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

He actually said because he's the man, he decides when to hang up? What the flim-flam?!!

So, if 2 females are on the phone, who decides then? The one with the bigger nipples?

"*sigh* I could talk to you for hours, but I've got to get going. Till next time."

My way...
"My ears are bleeding from your rambling. Gotta go."

February 27, 2009 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

When you find the answer to this question let me know. I have several people whose calls I ignore unless I have an open hour because I cannot get them off the phone. My mother is at the top of the list. 10 mintues before I really want to get off, I'll say, "hey mom, I need to get going, I have a million things to do today." To which she ALWAYS replies, "so,I don't know what else is new, but did I tell you...."

February 27, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Ann's Rants said...

Maelstrom has the idea...

"Uhoh bad connection. I'll call you back"

And then you don't.

February 27, 2009 at 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Kristine said...

This is precisely the reason I don't like to talk on the phone to begin with.

February 27, 2009 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger The Panic Room said...

I always find that people that can master the art of the 3 minute conversation are the most successful. Part of that is being able to get the info you want, making the person feel like you're interested in there small talk, dropping a laugh, and getting out before they even know what hit them.

I worked with an AD once that was so brilliant at it that I wanted him to teach a class and let it spread like wildfire across the land.

February 27, 2009 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

My mother in law will be one minute into a twenty minute story and my husband will cut in with, "Lemme let'cha go." Click. And he hangs up on her. Which is awesome. Except when he does it to me.

February 27, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Coco said...

I usually say I have a work call coming in gotta go. Or if you are on your cell you can hang up mid sentence and pretend your call dropped.


February 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger michelle said...

I am a rambler in real conversations, so I sadly admit I am a phone rambler. Admitting you have a problem is the key point, so I just text people now. The less I can actually talk, the better.

Now if I had a Vivienne Tam..... I would never pick up a phone again!

February 27, 2009 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

My mother always said that the person who called had to be the one to hang up.

Or maybe it's the other way around.

It's one of the reasons I thanked Al Gore so fervently when he invented email.

February 27, 2009 at 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean you have actual conversations that don't involve a keyboard?

What the heck is happening to the world?

February 27, 2009 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Mary Moore said...

I just hang up. I didn't know that was wrong. Who makes up these etiquette rules, anyway???? Fuck,now I'm pissed

February 27, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Annje said...

I think "Ok good bye" is a perfectly fine way to end a conversation. Who says "good-bye" isn't adequate warning? I personally like the "Oh Shit!..." and... dial tone... like there was some urgent crisis with the kids that required hangin up with no explanation. They don't dare call back--because it's so rude to impose in the middle of a crisis.

February 27, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

I've got no tips for you.

But if you want to really wind someone up, just wait until they're in the middle of something important and go...

"Mmmmnnnyokay. I've got to go now."

February 27, 2009 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

Dinner's burning.

Kid needs help wiping.

I'm late for therapy.

Time for my nap.

February 27, 2009 at 11:03 AM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

odd that no one's mentioned the call-waiting excuse yet.

February 27, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Tooj said...

While the kids are still in the house, use 'em. They're always my excuse. Unfortunately, it generally IS the reason I have to get off the phone. Never ending cycle of unwanted duties.

February 27, 2009 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

"One of the magazines I read said that a good way to end a phone conversation is "I'm sorry that I have to let you go." I think that sounds like you're struggling with mental illness, and not winning."

I laughed out loud with that so hard that some coffee may or may not have possibly damaged my keyboard. I swear one of these days you're gonna get me fired.

February 27, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...

I just say I'm done talking to you now and hang up.

February 27, 2009 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Ok, here's what I do.

Regardless of how the conversation went - literally, the person could have just told me they had the worst day ever - I say, "Well it was nice talking to you and I'm glad to hear that everything is going well. Have a good evening [morning, day or night could be substituted here]...(this is their change to say "You too")...Bye."

Having the same exit strategy really saves time and energy (since you're lazy :)).

-Leslie :)

February 27, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger jen said...

i usually just say ...

unless it's a telemarketer ... then just ohmygodigottago.bye.

February 27, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

The last phone call I dealt with involved me feigning a lost voice in order to cease things. Sadly, I didn't think of using this option until I'd hit the three-hour mark on the call, and then had to spend another 30 minutes squeaking in pain about my sore throat.

February 27, 2009 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Anna See said...

no advice for you here. i am an abrupt hanger-upper. bye.

February 27, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

I really don't like talking on the phone. Unless I'm waiting for a bus or stuck in line or basically trying to pass time.

Kids are the best excuse by far. I'm such an idiot b/c I always get off the phone by saying something like, "I gotta run. But I'll chat with you later." Which of course means I probably am supposed to call them back. Which I never do.

February 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger phd in yogurtry said...

I prefer your hasty conclusion to most people's way of dragging out the ending. (I am guilty of the same. It's assinine, it really is). That's why I love email, and now, commenting. G'bye.

February 27, 2009 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

I do the well I should let you go now statement. It works. I guess my friends are not so clingy.

February 27, 2009 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Christine Gram said...

I never have the problem of coming up with a reason to get off the phone (or skype or IM)... my kids interrupt me constantly.

Hey, gotta go.

February 27, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Akilah--the "I'm the man" comment is very tongue in cheek. At least I hope so.

One day John and I were talking with his friend David and I asked them when they're on the phone who decides when to hang up and David said, "Well, I'm the top, so it's up to me."

People outside of gayville get this, right?

And the kid excuse is great but John always says "You still got those kids?!"

Maelstrom--I love your advice. Please be my guru. And life coach.

February 27, 2009 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Steam Me Up, Kid said...

My dad, also lacking in phone skills but charming enough to pull this off, would say, in the middle of my sentence:

"Ok, say goodbye, kid."

Me: goodbye?


February 27, 2009 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Elisa said...

hahahaha! "I'm the man, I decioded when this is over" - boy, that battle was lost before it began.

I don't have this problem very often, because I'm usually the chatty one in the conversation - so it's the other person who has to deal with hanging up gently.

Otherwise, I usually say "sorry, I have to let you go, it's tiome for me to make lunch for (child's name)/put Stella down for a nap or similar or "my cell is ringing - oh, I have to get this, sorry - talk to you later!"

In other words, don't ever speak to me on the phone. If you do, only use it as a test to see if I will talk your ear off during a real-life meeting. Better yet, stick to Twitter :-)

February 27, 2009 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

I used to be a big phone talker myself, but lately in the last few years I only like to talk to a few people daily and the rest I just email and blog with/to. I use my baby as the excuse almost every time- uh oh, she's crying, hungry, needs a diaper change, etc. And it's actually normally true. Baby's are exhausting. :)

February 27, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Margaret said...

So, I'm delurking myself here (trumpets sound!), but I've always found the most efficient signal to be, after someone reaches the end of their story/point, a simple, "Alright... well." And the other person usually says, "Okay. Good talking to you." And I say something to the tune of, "Yep, let me know how the wart removal goes. Talk to you soon." And then we both say bye.

February 27, 2009 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Payton said...

The easiest way for me is to sum up what I called to ask about/request, and then tell them I look forward to talking to them later. Lying never hurts.

February 27, 2009 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger blognut said...

When I get sick of the phone, (which happens very quickly I can assure you), I walk into the bathroom, make a potty sound, and then flush the toilet. The caller promptly hangs up on me and I go on with my day.

February 27, 2009 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger blognut said...

The flushing things works really well with telemarketers too.

February 27, 2009 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

If "Okay, goodbye" works, I say stick with it. I have relatives that I can say, "Well, I've got to go" or "Well, I'll let you get back to whatever you were doing" at least five times before they finally hang up and let ME get back to what I was doing (probably blogging).

February 27, 2009 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger derfina said...

My African Grey parrot can tell when I've had enough of a phone conversation and he starts hollering "Bye" "BYE" "BUBYE"...Conversation usually disintigrates into giggling at that point and everyone knows it is time to hang up.

February 27, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Lawton said...

Ever since the cordless phone I just hang up on people - often in the middle of something I am saying to add to the authenticity of my story. My story being that the phone died, call got dropped, etc. By the next time we talk I act like I can't remember but am equally disappointed in cell phone service.

February 27, 2009 at 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take some pointers from my Grandma who just hangs up. I have been at her house and seen her hang up and say 'bye' directly afterwards. We all know that talking to her results in a quick disconnect.

February 27, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am kind of terrible at ending conversations and I almost always just end up staying on the phone until the other person wants to get off. I also hate hanging up first because I feel like I usually end up hanging up on them in the middle of saying something, but if we said bye I don't get why they started talking about something.

February 27, 2009 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Smores for Breakfast said...

omg, soooo funny. this cracked me up because my MIL does that to me and it kills me everytime. i'll be thinking we're in the middle of a conversation and all of a sudden she'll go, "ok, I'll let you go. I have things to do. bye" and I'll be all WTF! where'd that even come from! I've gotten used to it but it's so funny to hear there's other people out there like her!

February 27, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

That is so funny. I get crap from friends because when we are out, I give no warning before I leave. If dinner's done, the movie's over and I am bored, I just announce "ok, I'm out of here" and they get upset for lack of warning. Now I have to give a ten minute warning announcement before I take off. I had no idea it was so hard to let me go!

February 27, 2009 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Trix in the City said...

I always just tell them I've gotta take a shit... works every time!

February 27, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger SassyTwoSocks said...

I'm like you. I'm pretty abrupt. But sometimes I say "Ok, well I guess I'll talk to you later..." or "Ok, well... take care." and hang up. But hey, you're YOU! and shouldn't feel like you have to change. They don't have to call you if they don't want to be hung up on. ;-)

February 27, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger SoMi's Nilsa said...

When you're ready to end the conversation, just hang up. You can always blame your phone battery died or cell phone provider dropped your call! =)

February 27, 2009 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I have the opposite problem. I just can't stop ending a phone conversation. The other person I'm talking to keeps trying to end the call and I'm there all "Ok! Goodbye then! I'll talk to you later! Take care! See ya! Bye! Did I mention I'll talk to you later?"

I'm the one doing it and it even annoys me. I can't imagine how it is for the other person. I wish I knew a way to stop. I might have to get help for my phone call ending issues.

February 27, 2009 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger IB said...

I try to make it unpleasant for the person on the other end to continue by ceasing to be a willing participant. I give one word answers, refuse to ask question and emotionally disengage. After about 3 minutes of that, the other person suddenly finds something else to do, like slitting their wrists.

February 27, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger Coffee with Cathy said...

My husband, whom I love dearly, drives the @##%% out of me because he'll call and talk and then say, "Well, I guess you'd better let me go" as if I'm being dismissed or at the very least abandoned for somebody cooler on line two. Arrrggghhhh!

February 27, 2009 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Sherendipity said...

I just don't answer the phone. I hate that piece of crap.

February 27, 2009 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

OMG, Cathy, Husbandrinka does the exact same fucking thing. Now I am livid at him. And at the fact that I'd forgotten that he calls me, and then says "let me go, I have work to do!" I always feel like answering, "BUT YOU ARE MY LIFE! DON'T HANG UP!!"

My weekend is totally ruined.

February 27, 2009 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Swistle said...

I like, "OH MY GOD THE BABY!!!" and then slamming the phone down.

February 27, 2009 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

Just tell them you have to take a shit. Say this in the obvious echo of a bathroom and THEY will hang up on you faster than you can say good-bye.

February 27, 2009 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Your escalator operator said...

Hilarious post! I don't think I've ever really had this problem, but if I ever do - lots of good material to work with now!

February 27, 2009 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger HoodChick said...

My husband has a friend that calls, and won't shut up. I'm always "the blame" for him having to go. As in:
I gotta go, hoodchick has dinner ready.
I gotta go, hoodchick's in the truck waiting on me.

I don't answer. I listen to the voice mail and text them back. If they don't leave a message, I'm fine with that.

February 27, 2009 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Joanie said...

I'm no good at ending phone calls.

Last week, my phone died in the middle of a conversation with my ex-husband. I did warn him though. I thought, "wow! I haven't hung up on him on purpose in a long time!"

I had a neighbor who used to call when she got drunk. This was before caller ID. She's be on for hours if I didn't hang up on her!

February 27, 2009 at 7:58 PM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

59 comments, and no one mentioned farting? clearly, you need more male readers.

February 27, 2009 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger A New England Life said...

The very first comment by Belle had me rolling! lol!!

February 27, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Anabelle said...

HA! oh goodnes.. i usually blame it on my kid.. oh I gotta run... Rowan's unraveling all the toilet paper.. and then say bye and hang up.

February 27, 2009 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger ella said...

I think you're making progress with the "Ok I'm bored now".
My MIL does the same thing--very blunt. I got used to it and now I like it. Forward!

February 27, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger heartatpreschool said...

Ususally, I just suddenly say, "oh crap, I gotta go!", then hang up abrubtly.

It works pretty well.

February 27, 2009 at 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

Telephone etiquette. Very confusing. Did anybody write a Dummies book yet? Because I could certainly use it.

My main beef: I think there should be a law that says you have to announce your full name when calling someone. For example, once I thought I was talking to Amy for 20 minutes, then realized I was talking to Emily who I really didn't want to talk to. There followed hours of trauma as I tried to remember whether I had addressed her by (the wrong) name. Then I realized I hadn't because I had managed to get exactly 2.4 words into the conversation. Must go now, bye.

February 27, 2009 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger SweetPeaSurry said...

I think Panic has it right. I keep trying to master the 3 second conversation at work though, the project is not progressing.

Yo ... gotta run, things to do ... cats to chase and what not!


February 27, 2009 at 11:47 PM  
Anonymous miss bridget said...

Marinka, it seems you have ignited a debate about phone etiquette! I find it very difficult getting off the phone, especially to family...they just want to torture me with tales of mini crisis situations - and in my book an eye lash falling off does not constitute a real life drama! Even when I've said I need the bathroom no-one takes the hint but in future I'm just going to start peeing...surely that'll get rid of them!

February 28, 2009 at 5:09 AM  
Blogger Braja said...

I'm with Belle. Tell 'em to fuck off. One less person to deal with if they're offended and never call back.

Incidentally, I'm number 69 today. Surely there's a free VT mini in that for me? Screw number one: it's so passe...

BTW can you come over and follow me 43 times so I have 300 followers?

February 28, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Designher Momma said...

wow, I just realized that I'm an "ok, bye" girl and that it might not be socially acceptable. darn it man...

maybe that's why nobody call me....

February 28, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

I vote for lying. You can be abrupt without being rude("I'm sorry - I have to hang up - a body just plummeted past my window!"). It's a win win - you can be quick and no one's feelings are hurt.

February 28, 2009 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Yeah, lie, but with a very convincing voice, ya know they can't see you!

March 1, 2009 at 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Elinka said...

It has undoubtingly has something to do with the Russian blood. I learned it from my mom, sometimes she wont even give you a bye. I at least give some warning. I feel thats more than fair.

March 1, 2009 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Temple said...

My dad is famous for his "I'm done with you" phone etiquette. I can be in mid sentence and he will simply say "Ok, say bye now" and that's it...dialtone. Try that one.

March 1, 2009 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger ShallowGal said...

I get like that when leaving comme

March 1, 2009 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger ShallowGal said...

PS: On the phone I say "I have no further use for you."

March 1, 2009 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

My ex had a friend who did exactly the same thing. Out of nowhere he'd just go, "bye"

March 2, 2009 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger iMommy said...

I like to pretend there is an emergency :)

March 2, 2009 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Z said...

I hate the phone with a passion and try my best to never have to talk on it. My goodbyes? Are about the same as yours.

Except recently, with my piece-o'-shit phone? That drops calls all the time? Not a problem. Because I'm going to lose whoever I'm talking to a minute or so in, no matter what. And then I can just not pick up again, and pretend I'm in a dead zone.

March 7, 2009 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger me, myself, I said...

I'd love to have the gall to choose the very first (above) comment's proposal..!!!
I just ended up here while wandering the blogosphere - thanks for a great moment - I've been laughing aloud..:)

March 9, 2009 at 1:37 PM  

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