The Real Simple Reader Etiquette Poll
When You Have Company and the Phone Rings, What Should You Do?
Let it go to voice mail. You need to stay 100 percent focused on your guests: 52.3%
See who’s calling, then decide: 47.7%
Experts say: “Maintaining social contact with your guests is most important,” says Nikolaus Christmann, a butler in New York City who consults on entertaining etiquette. So unless you are a doctor on call or have some other compelling reason to be picking up, “don’t allow it to ring at all,” he says. “Turn off the ringers on phones in the rooms that you and your guests will be using.” The same rule applies to cell phones.