Saying good-bye on the phone has become interesting in America. I know some that say nothing when the call is due to end. They’re done, and, saying nothing, they hang up.

It’s weird when it’s experienced. “Hello?” I say. “Are you there?”

Then I listen.

No; they’re not there.

I hang up with the assumption, I guess the call was done, but they didn’t say good-bye. Maybe they were disconnected. Maybe they were nuked, or dropped their phone in the commode. Whichever and whatever it is, the lack of a formal good-bye, farewell, or so-long leaves me feeling that closure is missing.

Others are like me, saying, “Bye-bye.”

Bye-bye, like a child. Yeech. I don’t like saying that, but it seems my rote response. I don’t know where the hell I picked it up, but I even often used it in the military. “Yes, sir,” I’d say to the wing commander. “I’ll call you back when I have an update on the bomb threat.”

“Good. Thank you, sergeant.”

“You’re welcome, sir. Bye-bye.”

Very professional.

This came to mind today because of an early morning call. The stranger, who called to confirm a service, ended with, “Okay, thank you, see you later, bye.”

I guess they were trying to cover all the bases.


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