Saturday, November 16, 2013

Phone Etiquette - A Public Service Announcement

I'm just finished week three of my new job, and so far it is going well. I love the people, the company, and the beautiful environment where I spend every day.

Some of you have asked what I'm doing.  I'm one of the receptionists for a large medical recruiting company.  I prepare mailings for the marketing people and recruiters, attend to visitors, and assist with the Facilities Team and their needs, but mostly I answer the phone.  Calls run the gamut between "Can you transfer me to extension 4502 please?" to "Is this the Louisiana Department of Revenue?" and everything in between. 

I find it incredibly entertaining how quickly I have found favorites, among the callers and the employees alike, in such a short time.  There is already a list in my head of the funny requests I've gotten and the types of calls that make us shake our heads.  I have been guilty of many of these, so this post is purely for educational purposes.

Dos and Don'ts of Modern Telephone Usage:
  • Don't just hit "redial" on your phone and ask "Who called me?" All of these calls at my office come right back through to reception, and I have no way of knowing which of the 300+ employees on one of the five floors tried to reach you twenty minutes ago.  Or yesterday.
  • If someone leaves you a message, listen to it before calling back.  It might say, "I'm about to go into a meeting and won't be able to take your return call until after lunch."  It might say, "No need to call me back.  The meeting with Dr. Brown will be in Conference Room C."  It might even say, "My direct number is 555-463-1212."  
  • If you break rules #1 and #2 in the same call, please don't ask me to "hang on a sec'" while you listen to the message or check your email to find out who you are trying to reach.  Calls are stacking up behind yours like planes circling La Guardia in snowstorm.  
  • Use a hands free system or speakerphone appropriately.  Not only have I heard snippets of conversation in the background that I'm pretty sure weren't meant for my ears, but it's very hard to understand you when you're going seventy miles an hour with the window down and the radio on.  Screaming does not make it easier.  I'm just sayin'.
  • Listen to how the person answers the phone.  If the answer is "Thank you for calling Bank of America" and you launch into a four minute spiel about how your sink is leaking and the faucet might still be under warranty but maybe not before realizing you've misdialed, it's embarrassing.  Also, you've wasted four minutes my time and yours. 

Now you have a little glimpse of my new adventure.  I am meeting new and interesting people every day, and the more I get the hang of things, the more extra little tasks others are sharing to keep me busy.  I am lucky to work for a company that takes excellent care of its employees, and I especially liked yesterday when I got my first paycheck!

The kids and The Pit Boss are taking it all in stride.  Thursday was wonderful when I came home to find that TPB and Gracie had dinner ready and waiting.  Everyone at work thinks knows he's the best husband ever after he sent me roses last week and came to meet me for lunch. 

I'm trying to keep up with the blog posts, but I know you'll understand if some weeks they are a little more scattered.  We're anxiously awaiting the arrival of Batman (maybe this week!) and Deuce's Thanksgiving break. 

1 comment:

  1. heh, I worked in a last resort tech support call center for the cable company. Oh the stories I could tell! :) I generally think folks are just funny though - even when they are being complete and total dicks.


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