Originally created 09/02/01

Callers should identify themselves



Dear Carson: I was at home alone two days ago when I answered the phone and the caller asked if my husband was there. I did not recognize the caller's voice, and I asked who was calling.

It was a co-worker of my husband, and I told him my husband was not at home.

Since then, the caller has told my husband's boss that I was not very nice to the co-worker on the phone.

I was under the impression that when you make a call, especially a business call, that you identify who you are before asking for the person with whom you wish to speak. I did not wish to broadcast the fact that I was home alone until I knew with whom I was speaking. Was I wrong? - Identity Crisis

Dear Identity: It is incumbent upon the person who initiates the call, whether business or personal, to identify himself first.

You have every right to protect your safety and not broadcast that you are home alone.

Dear Carson: What do you think of friends or family members who send out invitations to "parties" in their home that are just sessions to sell clothing or cosmetics? It strikes me as tacky and rude that these at-home merchandisers expect family or friends to attend such events and be pressured into making a purchase.

I don't attend such events, and I didn't RSVP to a recent invitation as instructed on the form card that served as the invitation. - Leave Me Off the Guest List

Dear Guest List: I sometimes wonder if these at-home merchandisers have a business license or are legally required to have one. Such events seem to take advantage of the hostess's loyal friends and family. It is your decision whether to respond or whether to attend. There is no reason to feel obligated.

Dear Carson: The daughter of a close friend is getting married in another part of the country. My friend didn't invite any of his friends (I assume because of distance), and I have never met his daughter. Is it appropriate to give a gift even if I wasn't sent an invitation or an announcement? - Uninvited but Interested

Dear Uninvited: You are certainly under no obligation to send a gift, but your generosity would be appreciated. A gift is always welcome. You are doing this for your friend.

Write to Ask Carson, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Send e-mail to askcarson@home.com. Carson Elliott's Web site is at www.theproperthing.com.