CAMPAIGN DIARY: I’M ONLY A PUNTER BUT ..

I’m only a punter but when people are not only rude on the phone, but then lie to me in an attempt to be put through to my boss, it really gets on my nerves.

I’m only a punter but when people are not only rude on the phone,

but then lie to me in an attempt to be put through to my boss, it really

gets on my nerves.



As the PA to the managing director of a large international company, I

frequently take calls from people asking to speak to him. Clearly

oblivious to the fact that they have mis-pronounced his name, these

callers then try to persuade me that they know him. Occasionally, I get

a couple of variations - ’we’ve spoken before’ and ’he’s done business

with me in the past’ - both of which I know to be lies.



It would be a waste of time connecting such a call, so I ask two

questions: first, ’Can I help?’ and, second, ’Can you tell me what it is

about?’ The responses vary from rude, very rude, to abusive.



I do not like being told, ’you are only the secretary’ or ’I will only

speak to the man himself’ or ’he will know what it is about’.



Nine times out of ten my boss has never heard of these people and the

reason for their call is very rarely ascertained. Which is why he

employs me - to filter out the time-wasters.



Receiving, as I do, an average of five such calls a week, I have managed

to glean that the majority of them relate to either corporate

hospitality or advertising.



I regret to say that the callers can be either male or female. It seems

neither sex has a monopoly on bad manners. Needless to say, their calls

are fruitless. Are they working to a call-per-week target despite the

outcome? There’s no excuse for bad manners and if these callers stopped

for five seconds, they’d probably realise that I could be more help if

they got me on side rather than alienating me. What on earth can be done

to stop these objectionable calls?



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).