Last night I went to bed around 2:00 a.m. In the middle of the night my wife had a medical emergency, so I was up again. I basically ignored the alarm when it went off this morning. Around 8:30 I received a call from the company that services the furnace for the church property. A technician was on-site, so I went out to let him in. As soon as I arrived his first question was, "Were you asleep?"
Was I asleep? Of course I was asleep! Why does everyone always want to know if they have gotten you out of bed? Are they going to get off the phone or leave? Of course not. I think that we all feel superior to another person if we know that we were awake when they were not. We think how strange it is that someone would be in bed when we are awake. But does anyone ever think, "Wow, they sound tired, maybe they have been up late every night this week."
I'm sure this issue is especially acute for people who work the night shift. They must be considered complete slackers by people who don't know them simply because they are sleeping during the day.
So the next time you are tempted to ask someone if you woke them up, first consider why you want to know. Second, consider what you are going to do about it if you find out that you did wake them up (and remember, most people will lie to you and say that you didn't get them up since they themselves are embarrassed for having been asleep while other people are up). And third, just move on to what you were really calling to do since there is no productive reason for asking whether you woke them up.