15 APRIL 1989, Page 23

Telephone manners

Sir: I cannot resist adding my mite to the avalanche you have invited by publishing (1 April) James Michie on manners (not eti- quette, as your cover misleadingly suggests).

He strikes me as sound on everything but telephone manners. The correct begin- ning to an unsolicited telephone call is not `How are you?' but 'Is this a good moment for you?' And have you noticed how the real high-ups often seem to have dialled their own calls and make themselves easy to get at? The middle-rungers, on the other hand, surround themselves with their 'sec- retaries' who are even known to ask you to hold on while they find their boss who has told them to call you.

J. G. Links

8 Elizabeth Close, London W9