You say tomahto, I say tomayto.
You say potahto, I say potayto.
Sure, different people have different style of doing things. And not everything appeals to everybody. For example, you might think it is okay to wear jaded ribbed torn-out jeans, but your mom might throw a hissy fit against it. (And I won't even dare to think what the fashionistas and stylistas might say about that. *coughsooutofseasoncough*)
However, there are certain things that need not the approval of your mother, any fashionistas or even stylistas, for it to be something that you should adhere to. These things, are universal. These things, it's general knowledge. And etiquette falls under general knowledge. Phone call etiquette to be exact.
Let it be known, people, that it is rude for you to be calling a person and not introduce yourself. Well, unless you are calling someone you know and who in turn, knows you.
Imagine a phone call that starts like this:
The phone rings and you answer.
Caller: Who is this?
Now I don't know about you, but whenever that happens to me, I have an uncontrollable urge to reach into the phone and smack the back of the head of the caller so hard that he forgot his existence in this world for a while. Unfortunately, that is not possible. So I usually bombard the person calling with questions a normal Investigating Officer of a crime case would - to determine three things: the identity the person calling, where the heck did he get my number and, ultimately, to get it across to him that he shouldn't be asking who am I. And the conversation would not be pretty. Nu-uh.
Why, you ask, is it rude to be asking "Who is this?" to the person you are calling?
It would not be rude if you identify yourself before asking that. However, in the absence of the identification of the person calling, it is discourteous because of one simple reason: You are the one who is calling. You don't get to ask that. The person receiving the call has the authority to ask the question.
It is okay to not know the identity of the person you are calling, IF you are calling a land or general line. But not the same could be said for mobile lines - usually, although you might not know who the call-ee is, you must at least have his or her name, because most mobile number is a direct line, if not personal.
A polite phone etiquette - when calling an unknown person - should at least be like this:
Caller: Hello, I am *insertnamehere*. May I speak to *insertnamehere*, please? or *insertnamehere*?
Do this with the most polite tone you could ever produce out of your voicebox. Tone is vital. Use a polite tone, you might even make someone's day. Otherwise, well...let's say that if the person you are calling is somewhat like me, it might ruin your day.
On the other hand, if you are the person receiving the call - the call-ee, it is considered highly rude if you don't answer the call with "Hello" but instead just keep your silence until the caller says"Hello".
Reason? I don't need to give you a reason for that! You would be stupid to not know the reason already.
So, before you make that phone call, you might want to keep these things in mind. It might seem petty, but it is what separating the uneducated from the educated and the uncivilised from the civilised. It might even save you from unnecessary humiliation.
And I, I shall burn your hand, ear and mouth if you dare call me and ask who am I.
Because this is not either tomato or potato.