The toll-free telephone number of The Protocol School of Ottawa is similar to that of a US pet food manufacturer. Transpose the last two digits and you’re talking dog food rather than dining etiquette.
I make a point of answering my telephone clearly and slowly, “Good morning, The Protocol School of Ottawa. Suzanne speaking”. Of course I do. This is part of what I teach. I’m amazed at the number of people over the years who have either cut me off or talked over me, demanding to know the ash content of the dog food.
This is certainly not a daily occurrence, but it happens often enough that I’m prepared. If there happens to be a recall on pet food I’m sure to get a call. Most people are amazed when I tell them they have dialed incorrectly. They’re even more amazed when they hear they’ve reached a Canadian etiquette school! The odd caller has persisted and continued to ask me if the food is still suitable for their cat. Sure, as long as they use a napkin!
I tell callers how they have gone wrong and provide the correct number if someone sounds upset, elderly, or confused. It’s a simple thing for me to do. I am sad to say though that a sincere apology for calling the wrong number is rare. “I’m so sorry. I have the wrong number. Good-bye.” is the polite reaction I’m hoping for, considering it’s their mistake.
Call me sometime. I love discussing etiquette issues. Just don’t ask me if Fluffy or Rex still need supplements with my pet food.