I'm a new ham (licensed back in the spring) and very new to HF (only a couple of weeks). One thing I've noticed in the phone bands is that things seem to rarely go the way all the articles aimed at new hams say.
For example, I don't hear much CQ at all from people calling. Even when it's not a contest there is very seldom a CQ. I hear "QRZ" a bunch (as a statement, not a question). And some people just say "goodbye". I heard an Italian ham tonight sometimes saying "73" and sometimes saying "Ciao!".
So I find myself unsure of what to do if I want to attempt a contact. It doesn't help that for some people I can never hear the other side of the conversation so I don't know what the caller is expecting.
So first, when do I give my call? Since I can't hear the other side a lot of the time I don't want to step on the conversation the caller is having the with person I can't hear. Is it OK to wait for something that seems like an obvious end like a "73" or "goodbye" or "QRZ" as a statement and then just give my call once and wait for either a full acknowledgement or a request to fill a partially-received call, so long as call that's being asked to fill could reasonably be mine?
And second, what to say when ultimately acknowledged? Name, location, signal report and turn it back to them? But that might make the other ham figure you're not willing to talk for a bit even if he is. What's a good way to not waste his time if he's not interested but make it decently clear you're willing to talk if he is?