Etiquette for a dropped call

You’re talking on your cell phone to a friend on her cell phone. One of you enters a dead zone. The call is dropped.

It’s almost a daily occurrence for me, since I’m often driving through bad cell areas (using my hands-free headphones, of course). And it’s been happening for years.

The first part that shocks me about this scenario is that so many years after cell phone use became widespread, providers still can’t figure out a way to give decent coverage. But the second part that shocks me is about the callers ourselves.

Why can’t we figure out what to do after our call is dropped?

The call is dropped, and my phone tells me that the signal faded – it’s basically telling me, “Don’t worry, the other person didn’t hang up on you…it was YOUR fault!” So I immediately press “redial”  to call my friend back. But she is probably two or three paragraphs into her story about the thing she bought at the store or something, not realizing that I’m not even there. So my call goes into voicemail. And while I’m leaving a voicemail, I miss a call from her. And then it takes 10 minutes just to get back to where we were in the conversation.

It’s chaos.

We have so many etiquette rules in society, but there don’t seem to exist any official rulings on this scenario. So, here in this blog, I hereby announce Lia’s Etiquette for Dropped Cell Phone Calls:

If your signal fades, wait two seconds before doing anything. Give your friend time to figure out you’re gone, and give your phone time to realize how it failed you. If you initiated the call, you should be the one to call the other person back. That way, there’s no question of who should be calling whom. Also, you should frequently check in with your phone buddy – if they seem unresponsive after a few “can you hear me now?” lines, just hang up and wait a few seconds.

There it is. Learn it, own it, spread it around. Save the world from dropped-call phone tag!


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