One summer I worked as a nanny for two little girls of a family who goes to my church back home. I noticed that the mother always answered the phone with," This is Marcee." At the time, I thought that was a weird greeting. Why not say hello first? Why introduce yourself at all? They are the ones calling you!
Of course, with caller ID on every cell phone and almost every house phone, you know exactly who is calling, so an intoduction of yourself is not necessary - you can simply answer the phone by greeting the person calling you.
However, I have now discovered a situation where it is useful to answer the phone by saying your name first.
At my internship where I am working right now, I make a lot of calls to media people. It can be very intimidating to call reporters and editors - I never know where the number I am calling is taking me (to the operator, to the main news desk, to their personal line) and they are always on deadline and don't really want to talk to PR people. I find that it is very frustrating when they answer the phone by just saying "Hello" and then I ask for the reporter I am trying to reach, and they give me a very haughty, "This is he/she," as if I should have known that already. If they could just say their name when they first answer the phone, it would help us avoid the five seconds of awkwardness!
I have now taken to saying "This is Katie" whenever I answer an unfamiliar number calling my cell phone. I strongly believe that everyone should do the same. It would put the caller at ease and the conversation can start right away, without all the confusion about identity and whatnot.
Besides, who doesn't like to hear the sound of their own name every once and a while?