23 April, 2007

The basics of leaving a message on someone’s work line:

1. Say your name, slowly and clearly – spell if necessary.
2. Give your phone number SLOWLY and CLEARLY
3. State why you’re calling in the shortest, more articulate way possible. Avoid rambling, or saying “hum” “ums” “let’s see” after every word.
4. Say your name (spelling again if needed)
5. Give your number again.
6. Hang Up.

The longest a message should be is thirty seconds. If you know the person you can feel free to talk until a minute. But if you go longer than that I reserve the right to delete your message without being held responsible for what came after the minute mark.

Under no circumstance should you speak like a turtle for three minutes and then rattle off your number at such speed that it causes the listener to wonder if you began speaking a foreign language. If the listener has to endure your message more than three times and still cannot decipher your number, you have forfeited all claims to being called back.

If you are stupid enough to leave multiple messages without leaving a number you have no right to be angry when you do not get a call back.

If you call before the person has drank their first cup of coffee you deserve what you get (or don’t get).

If you take a tone of superiority, or pomp, or un-due hurry the listener has ever right to delete your message, with no follow through. You as a caller should expect nothing beyond a call back from the person you rang on their timetable. Do not call ten minutes before you need something, when you know you needed it three days ago. I realize and will make exception for the last minute emergencies that come up at work. Your procrastination is no ones problem but your own. Take responsibility.

If you call someone and do not get them, do not call their co-workers, their supervisor, the receptionist at their office, and any other random number you have to have the person pulled out of a meeting (even if it’s just chatting with a friend) and take your call to only ask something the person has to get back to you on anyway. If the person is at their desk they will answer, if not, leave a message. Or, if it’s that urgent send an e-mail. If you get the person’s machine take it as a hint and leave a message (adhering to the guidelines above, of course).

Basically, if it’s urgent or going to take more than thirty seconds, be kind and send an e-mail.

If you cannot adhere to the suggestions above, do us all a favor and don’t use the phone.

Thank you.

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© Amanda Lunday