Etiquette School is in session! > The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly

Telephone Etiquette

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LadyStormwing:
If this topic has been started before, please move or close this thread. I did check this section twice, but it's getting a bit late and I'm tired.

I work in an office where multitasking isn't an option, but a requirement. One of these tasks involves answering the phone, taking messages, and returning voicemails. That said, I'm very close to the end of my rope lately as people seem to have forgotten some of the basics of using a telephone.

1. Please identify yourself. I speak to dozens of people on a daily basis- it's a big company. I do not recognize your voice, your number, and there are six different guys named Bob here. Leave your name, first and last. Likewise, the date and time you are calling can be extremely helpful, especially when dealing with a time-sensitive issue.

2. Speak clearly. If I have to listen to your voicemessage eight times becauseyoutalklikethisandIcan'tevengetyourname, I am going to be very annoyed because I feel as though you have wasted my time.

3. Leave your contact number, and make sure it is a working number. Say the numbers slowly, and then repeat it. If you have left a rambling message and then your number at a mile a minute, again, I will not be pleased to have to listen to the entire message again just to be able to call you back.

4. Please let us know why you are calling. If you're calling my number about something that might best be directed to Human Resources, a brief explanation of whatever situation prompted the call will expedite any and all resolutions.

5. When calling with any sort of issue, please do not say that you have "been calling all week" or "trying to get through all day" when you haven't. I keep a record of every voicemail and most live calls complete with name, contact number, and situation at hand. Calling and hanging up if the phone goes to voicemail does not count.

6. Please make an effort to reduce background noise, including music, television, other conversations, and wind. I can't help you if I can't hear you. Likewise, do not try to carry on a conversation with me and the person next to you simultaneously.

7. If you are calling your employer, YOU make the call. It is YOUR job. I will not, and under law cannot, give Mommy any information or accept instruction from her on your behalf. If you are old enough to hold a job, you are old enough to take responsibility for it, including calling in sick, scheduling days off, requesting more hours, and speaking to your supervisor.

8. Please have an idea of what you want or need to say when you call. Conversations peppered by long, unnecessary pauses and the words "like", "uh.." and "um..." are painful for both of us. Stop, take a breath, and talk. (Note: If you have any sort of speech/hearing difficulty, this clearly doesn't apply. I will be more than happy to speak in person or give you an email address if that would be easier for you.) The old, "Somebody called from somewhere and said to call back" is something that happens way too often.

9. If you are uncomfortable speaking on the phone, practice. Texting is not going to replace a call anytime soon. Find a friend and have a dress rehearsal if you need to.

10. Keep your volume appropriate. There is no need to shout - your voice is right in my ear, remember. If I have to ask you to speak up, I will.

Thank you for calling Ehell. My name is Lady Stormwing, may I help you?
 

TaurusGirl:
11. If you are on a lunch break when you call, PLEASE stop eating while you are on the phone. I don't need to hear the slurping, chewing, and swallowing. Ditto for sipping coffee.

Mopsy428:
12. For personal calls, please don't say, "Who's this?" right after I answer. YOU are calling ME. Please identify yourself.

13. Do NOT play the "Hello?" "Hello!" "Hello!" game. Yes, I will hang up on you.

14. If you are calling a number and there are multiple people of the same gender in the house, please specify who you want; this goes double if you are calling a household with identical twins. I can't count how many times I've answered the phone, and the person starts talking on and on, and I have zero idea of what he/she is talking about...and then I find out that they either want my Mom or one of my sisters.

15. LISTEN to the voicemail intro so you don't leave information on someone else's voicemail. (Example: My voicemail clearly states, "You have reached Mopsy Rabbit. Please leave your name and number and a brief message, and I will get back to you as soon as possible." I have received voicemails with information for Bob or Wendy Smith on what Bob Smith has to do before his surgery in three days, rambling messages ending with "Jenn, call me back soon!", and all that jazz.)

Emmy:
When making a personal call and multiple people live in the house, please say something like "Hello, may I speak to Shelly please" instead of "Is Shelly there?" or "Shelly?".  I find it very rude when people call and offer no greeting to the person who answered the phone.

Hollanda:
16. When calling a busy office and you request a report is ready (for example), and I say it is not ready, do not ask "What do you mean, it's not ready?" I mean what I say, and you asking me what i mean, is not going to change the situation. No, I am not psychic, no I will NOT give you a timescale as to when it MIGHT be ready, I am not psychic. I have to follow the protocol, take a message with all your details and ask my Consultant (Pathologist) to call you back to discuss the report with you in depth, since he has been trained for 10 years in his profession and I am merely his secretary. Giving you a timescale is against Trust protocol and COULD get me fired. You do your job, and let me do mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rant over.

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