DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a sibling who oftentimes puts me on her speakerphone when we talk. It is frustrating to me, and I feel like she’s really saying, “I’m busy and don’t have time to talk.” I think it’s rude.
She probably uses her speaker function in her business as a real estate agent, but I would find the habit equally as abrasive if I were a client. I think speakerphones are fine for conference calls, but person to person, it sends a negative message.
How would you handle this, or just let it go? Maybe I am wrong. If so, that answer would suffice.
GENTLE READER: Using a speakerphone during a private conversation is not actually rude, unless that conversation is not actually private. Miss Manners is inclined to be lenient on the mechanics of the situation as long as there is an understanding that any previously unspecified listeners are always announced.
If you find it otherwise intolerable, then you may say, “I am afraid this connection is bad. Sometimes speakerphones can muddy the sound reception -- and I don’t want to miss anything. Do you mind taking me off and seeing if it is any better?” And then tell them that it is.