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Weekend Discussion: To Ping or Not to Ping Before a Phone Call?

smartphone with "hello" on a black screen, wood grain background

In a passionate rant on r/Big4 the other day, a millennial manager griped about his or her Gen Z first year associate not wanting to talk on the phone. Well, there was a bit more to it than that.

I’m noticing an increasing reluctance for associates and even seniors to just pick up the damn phone… This culminated today when my first year associate told me to ask permission before calling him. I can’t possibly imagine telling my boss to request permission to call me!

I no longer want this associate on my jobs. I’ve lost confidence that he can handle client conversations appropriately and frankly I don’t believe that he’s actually working at home. He’s also the kind to hide behind emails instead of just calling, which just wastes time and is a poor excuse for not completing assigned workload.

If this is genuinely an issue for him (instead of an attitude problem) I think he needs to address it, or he isn’t going to cope in the workplace.

Am I missing something? AITA?

It sounds like OP doesn’t trust that the associate is actually working from home but that’s a separate issue.

It’s worth pointing out that OP says in the comments their partners don’t ping and recognizes that this likely contributes to their position on surprise phone calls.

The majority of commenters said OP is indeed an asshole and that a pre-call ping is a commonly accepted courtesy. Most, not all.

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inBig4
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inBig4

Related Glassdoor discussion:

Although OP got slaughtered in the comments on that Reddit post, it seems we as professional working adults haven’t yet reached an agreement on the ping after all. To ping or not to ping?

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