Got into a heated debate with some co-workers recently on phone etiquette. A co-worker called me one morning, but I was not there to answer the phone. However, he did not leave a message. Upon returning to my desk, I noticed that I missed his call, as his name showed up on the caller identification screen. Later that day, we passed each other in the hallway when he gave me a weird look and asked why I did not call him back. "Well", I said, "You did not leave a message, so I guess your call was not important enough where you needed my assistance." He replied that his call was important, and he wanted me to call back.
We discussed into further detail (yup, that's right, we've got nothing better to do at a corporate firm than to discuss proper phone etiquette), when another co-worker emerged around the corner and began listening in to our debate. This person, to my disbelief, sided with the other co-worker.
"I cannot believe this!", I exclaimed. If you want someone to call you back, then you need to tell them that. I cannot tell you how many times people call me and fail to leave messages (repeatedly, mind you), only to when they actually reach me, the topic of conversation is not important.
Then there are those that refuse to leave messages and will call six times in an hour without leaving a message. Don't these people understand that if the issue is that important, I will call you back as soon as I get back to my desk (or when I am free).
There are still others that will call repeatedly AND leave messages each time, thinking that the latest message is more of an indication that they need to call back than the first three messages.
Another reason for me not returning un-message calls is that I do want to look like a stalker, or that I am screening my calls. Whenever I call folks and want them to return my call, I will leave a message once. If they fail to get back to me within 24 hours, then I'll seek out another mode of communication (e-mail, texting, carrier pigeon, etc.)
Am I alone in this?