DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a deaf individual, and therefore, my husband is my communicator. Whenever I interact with a business and anticipate being called by them in the future (to schedule an appointment, etc.), I always ask if their business name comes up on the caller ID. It surprises me that most receptionists do not know. They tell me to look for their number on the caller ID and they leave it at that, leaving me stumped.
As a reminder, in this day and age, we receive a lot of unsolicited calls with bogus numbers and no names. We do not answer the phone. If it’s important enough, the caller will leave a message. Then my husband listens to all our messages, returns calls and clears out the messages.
My best advice for all businesses, of any kind: Please have your company name come up on caller ID. This will avoid much confusion, blame and wasted time.
GENTLE READER: Reasonable as it is of you to hope that callers will identify themselves properly, the best antidote to confusion and blame is to assume good intentions. That, and remembering that you and your husband are not the only parties to your call.
Miss Manners is not suggesting that someone is listening in, only that the telephone company, your telephone manufacturer and any number of other participants have a say in how caller ID identifies a caller.
The receptionist does not tell you what will appear on your screen when receiving a call because he or she does not, and likely cannot, know. If you will agree not to criticize her for not being up on the latest technology, Miss Manners will ask to leave a message when she does not reach you on the first try.