Q: I work graveyard shifts and often receive calls early in the morning from persons who don’t know that I sleep during those hours. I must keep the phone on for emergencies because I am on call. Sometimes when people call, they ask, ‘Did I wake you?’ Saying ‘no’ is a lie so in the past I have said ‘Yes, but it’s okay.’ The person calling often apologizes and feels bad although I don’t mean to make them feel bad. Saying something like, ‘I am glad you called, what’s up?’ seems like I am ignoring the person’s question. None of these seem like good responses. What would you suggest?
A: This depends on whether you wish to engage in conversation or not. There is nothing wrong with saying, “Yes, I work nights and am sleeping right now, but call me back at two or three or whenever; I’d love to talk to you then. Then you hopefully can go back to sleep, and eventually your friends and acquaintances will remember not to call you in the morning.