General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Question about phone calls

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MrsCrazyPete:
I work as a pharmacy technician. Part of my job requires that I make lots of phone calls. When I have to call a customer, it's no problem. My problem is when I have to call a doctor's office or a lab.

This is how a typical conversation might go when I place a call:
Person answers the phone (PATP): Thank you for calling Dr. Blah-blah's office, how can I help you?
Me: Hi, this is MrsCrazyPete from ABC Pharmacy. I'm calling to find out about Joe Schmoe's lab results. Has he come in yet?
PATP: ...complete silence...

Now I assume that the person on the other end is looking up that information, but without them saying anything, I don't know for sure. Sometimes I'm kept waiting for up to a full minute with nothing but silence. After a period of time they give me the information I need, but in the meantime I'm getting very frustrated.

A few times I have started to repeat myself or said "hello?", only to have the person snap at me that they are checking on what I need.

Is there anything I can say in this sort of situation? Or do I just suck it up?

DottyG:
I don't think there's much else you can do.  You're not rude by saying "hello?" to them.  If they snap at you, that's on them.

Yvaine:
This happens to me from the other direction all the time. It's so awkward! I try to tell them I have to look something up and then to occasionally make a little sound or say something so they know I'm there--I always think I should be humming the Jeopardy! theme or something.

Luci45:
I usually  say, "Are you still there?" which seem a tad friendlier and less accusatory. I insert the name if it has been given to me earlier.

"Are you still there, Kathy?"

Sanity Lost:
I hum "Peter and the Wolf" and always congratulate the person who recognizes it. :)

Now I do that whether I'm calling or being called; it lets us both know i'm still on the line until one of us speaks. So maybe that will help?

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