There is only one way in the world to answer a phone. You pick it up, and you say, “Hello?” If you’re of a jiggy nature, you can start with “Emily here. ‘Sup!”
But you must still answer it.
The reason why someone would take the time to dial your number is because they would like to speak with you. No, they don’t want to hear you just breathing. They want you to alert them to the fact that you have indeed noticed their phone call and decided to actually talk to them.
Unfortunately, there is a collection of dumbwits who think that the correct way to answer a phone is to pick it up, and…wait. They are waiting for you to ask if they’re actually there, and available to talk.
I was once in a situation where I had to work with this sort of uninformed twit. Pure trauma. The first time it happened, I was only mildly irritated.
I called her, and she picked it up. Silence from her delicate end.
“Hello?” I asked. “Is someone there?”
“Yes, hello!” she responded cheerily. “How are you?”
I was confused, thank you very much, but decided to talk business.
And it kept happening. One day, I called her, and decided not to start the conversation. The silence grew and grew.
“Is someone there?!” I eventually snapped.
“Yes, I’m here!” she sounded irritated. “I was waiting for you to talk”.
“It’s your phone. I’ve called you and you’ve pressed the green button. Why, pray tell, are you waiting for me to be the first to talk?”
“Because it’s you who wants to talk to me”, she said this very matter of factly.
“What’s your problem?” she snapped.
Oh, the number of times I have heard that sentence. Education time.
“Well, how phones work is, when you call me, I say ‘hello’ first, because you see, that’s just the way it-“
“Oh, take away your lugezigezi nawe”, she cut me off. “If YOU are the one who wants to talk to ME, it should be you talking first! What don’t you get?”
Ah, sod it.