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Monday, November 3, 2008

A Public Service Anouncement to People who Call Offices

When you call someone at their place of employment, and the receptionist informs you that the person is not in and offers to transfer you to their voicemail, don't say no to the voicemail and then try to leave a message with the receptionist.

At least at our offices, we have voicemail so that the receptionist doesn't have to take your messages. I don't care if you fear technology, or if you think the message is more likely to be received if you give it to me instead of the voicemail. Quite the opposite, it is less likely to be received, because I have to write it down and then type up an email to send to the attorney, and I just may not remember to do that depending on how busy I am at the moment. Granted, I usually get your message off, but even then, the first thing the attorneys do when they come back is listen to their voicemail. They don't always get to email right away. And email from the admin staff is usually low priority to them anyway, because if it were important, we'd just acost them at their office.

If you have already left one or more voicemail messages and the attorney hasn't gotten back to you, then he is either busy with higher priority issues, or you didn't leave an explicit enough reason for him to get back to you, or he is avoiding you for some reason. In any case, you are no more likely to get your call returned if you leave your message with me than if you leave another voicemail or just trust your earlier messages to do the trick. And don't take your frustration that the attorney hasn't gotten back to you out on me. I have nothing to do with that.

This has been a public service announcement on behalf of administrative staff everywhere. Thank you for your consideration.


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4 comments:

B.R. said...

This is definitely a boundary issue. One of the great things about technology is that it allows for communication to happen fast. Leave a VM, SMS, chat alert, whatever, but don't burden the live person on the other end of the line. I am assuming said person has much more work of significant value to accomplish. It's a tad narcissistic to expect to be contacted pronto by the other party. Next time they bother you with a sea of hurried speech patters tell them that they are being 'oh-so-20th-century' about communication. Or, 'VM works. Try it!' Or you can simply accuse them of being 'un-green' since, in a way, you are being forced to 'write' a message on paper. Ok, my examples get more obnoxious by the line, but you get the point....

jess said...

i'm with you. i HATE leaving messages with the receptionist! i'm convince the attorney doesn't get them that way!

me: hi, can i talk to mr. so and so.
receptionist: he's not available.
me: can i leave him a voice mail?
r: i AM the voicemail.
me: super! (overly bright and cheery and really thinking to myself SHIT!!)

Sra said...

Yeah, I really wish there was a kind way for me to tell annoying callers to shove it. Really, I shouldn't be answering phones or dealing with anyone in a customer service type of way, because I just want to call people on their annoying habits, but I can't. Still, I may try to come up with some stock phrases to convince callers that they really do want the voicemail if they have a message to leave, since that's the whole point of VM, to receive their message so I don't have to!

Anger.... breathe....

jess said...

i'm with you. i HATE leaving messages with the receptionist! i'm convince the attorney doesn't get them that way!

me: hi, can i talk to mr. so and so.
receptionist: he's not available.
me: can i leave him a voice mail?
r: i AM the voicemail.
me: super! (overly bright and cheery and really thinking to myself SHIT!!)

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