Stop saying sir on the phone- A request by an RN doctor

At my last regiment, 25 years ago, the RSM approved telephone answering script was so long winded I'm sure most people had forgotten why they rang in the first place.
In days of yore, 25 Engr Regt had a similar script.

And they would also have a weekly ‘NBC day’ when they had to do their normal duties in full NBC Black.

Of course, nobody in other regiments would phone them just to listen and then laugh at them :)
 
In episkopi we had a dedicated medical emergency line.
There was a set format for answering this, stressing it was an emergency line, names were not used and no sir etc. The idea was to get info on the incident and deploy the ambulance (s) as appropriate.
Every so often we would get an officer using it to demand to speak to the SMO as he could t get through on the other line.

It was always fun to tell some belligerent Rodney " this isn't an emergency, I'm hanging up now" and then wait for the inevitable complaint that'd get dealt with by the SMO and practice manager.
 
I binned the idea when I got to full screw. “Workshop - Cpl R”. 9 times out of 10 it was someone of SSgt or lower rank. If the OC happened to call or the SSM, the next line was “Morning Sir” If it was a female officer, oddly enough it’d be “Morning Ma’am”. Not rocket science, and no one ever got a Wendy on about it.
Quite right - Good morning/afternoon, state unit/department, rank and name to identify self. Wait to find out who is calling and respond appropriately.

Like you said - it's not difficult.
 

TJF

Swinger
Must be an Army thing, whenever I answered the phone it was to confirm room service with reception.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
You just have to pay attention to how it is said. It is much better to have the phone answered in the manner "A Company, Pte Bloggs speaking, Sir" which give the caller much more information than just "Hello".

Also, note that the word Sir is an add on an means absolutely nothing for the very reason that the receiver has no idea who is calling. It just trips off the tongue and is loaded with nil respect. I doubt any officer/WO places any weight on the first "Sir".
What's wrong with doing that and just dropping the 'sir' bit at the end?

I'm not a fan of changing trade/role names that happen to be gendered just because someone of the opposite gender is doing them, but it doesn't seem like much would be lost by not saying sir blindly into the phone.
 
Probably a hangover from the days when phones were new and manned by a clerk.
I can remember every rifle company CSM still having a company runner sitting in his office as telephones were scarce in the battalion - and that was in the '80s!
 
What's wrong with doing that and just dropping the 'sir' bit at the end?

I'm not a fan of changing trade/role names that happen to be gendered just because someone of the opposite gender is doing them, but it doesn't seem like much would be lost by not saying sir blindly into the phone.
I'm sure the odd undone button is perfectly harmless. Why cause a fuss over something so trivial?
 
I made an another characteristically terrible decision this evening and logged onto Twitter. My attention was drawn to a very opinionated Royal Navy officer, an anaesthetist who posts on twitter as @doctorwibble , who is knee deep in a sexism row. This debate kicked off when the RN doc asked a question of Twitter about why the Army trains people to answer phones with Sir, particularly when they don’t know who is calling?
For example- Good morning, 49 PARA, Private Bugsy speaking Sir”.
With her feed containing white knights, seething right wingers, overly offended lefties and even a serving pongo Maj Gen I thought I’d bring it to the attention of Arrse.

So far twitter as thrown up some crackers ranging from - PC nonsense gone mad. To this is a Russians troll attack to undermine the effectiveness of our troops. The main theme however is the suggestion that the RN quack wouldn’t cope in a real war if they couldn’t cope with being called sir on the phone.

In your own time, go on.
If the RN phone up answer with 'HELLO SAILOR' with your best Dick Emery impersonation.

RAF phone up answer with 'HELLO HONKY TONKS' ditto Dick Emery impersonation.

For the younger member's on ARRSE Dick Emery was actor of sorts who was a good impersonator in the 1970's when you could mock other people. His visit to the ACIO sketch was interesting. Recruiting NCO was badged Queens Regt.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
I'm sure the odd undone button is perfectly harmless. Why cause a fuss over something so trivial?
Exactly - why cause bother over something that has been done since tin cans were connected by string?
 
If the RN phone up answer with 'HELLO SAILOR' with your best Dick Emery impersonation.

RAF phone up answer with 'HELLO HONKY TONKS' ditto Dick Emery impersonation.

For the younger member's on ARRSE Dick Emery was actor of sorts who was a good impersonator in the 1970's when you could mock other people. His visit to the ACIO sketch was interesting. Recruiting NCO was badged Queens Regt.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I'm sure the odd undone button is perfectly harmless. Why cause a fuss over something so trivial?
Because that's to do with dress standards. You can still answer the phone smartly, with the right information, without calling the person sir. It's 2020.
 
Every time the GD muppets in the MGR started a tannoy message we would phone them, every time it worked and the sound of the phone ringing and joe SWO having a fit echoed across the camp, to this day i cannot fathom why after 6 months it was still working and no one had just printed off a sign to go by the mick.
Ha, forgotten about that! That was pretty widespread. Huuuuummm... 'Standby for broa... ring ring'. Classic!
 
Because that's to do with dress standards. You can still answer the phone smartly, with the right information, without calling the person sir. It's 2020.
It's not to do with dress standards, but we'll let that pass.

Is there an official format for answering the telephone?

If not, why not?

Clearly this is an important issue because some woman is upset about it.
 
Talking of racks, any of you Golden Rivet types know this lady?

View attachment 494617

About 5 years ago, I was on an American cruise ship, and there was this vision of loveliness in her Mess Kit on a formal night. I couldn’t help but notice the medals (inc MBE) being British. I introduced myself with the line “I couldn’t help but notice your rack” :)

She was the security officer on the ship, ex-RN WO1 Police. The photo above does her no justice. Her hair was longer and frankly, she could have handcuffed me all night :)

She's a fucking dog.
 
Because that's to do with dress standards. You can still answer the phone smartly, with the right information, without calling the person sir. It's 2020.
Full Home Service Dress, Obvs. With a submarine in your pouch.
 
I can remember every rifle company CSM still having a company runner sitting in his office as telephones were scarce in the battalion - and that was in the '80s!
The days of the Company Orderly Cpl - spend the day walking around camp with a clipboard running errands for the CSM...
 
Top