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

I hate secretaries. Actually, I must qualify that - I hate secretaries who try to make you feel like a piece of dog dirt they encountered on their way to town from Guildford.

I hate secretaries. Actually, I must qualify that - I hate

secretaries who try to make you feel like a piece of dog dirt they

encountered on their way to town from Guildford.



You phone up a switchboard and ask to speak to an agency boss. Instead

of some friendly voice announcing ’so and so’s office’, you get names

like ’Karen’, ’Claire’ or ’Alison’ barked down the phone at you. And

that’s when your problems begin.



Asking to go through to ’so and so’ is clearly an insult to the modern

secretary. And not wanting to tell her what you are ringing so and so

about is clearly like spitting on the grave of the average secretary’s

mother. If you’re lucky you’ll get a coaxing - ’it’s all right, you can

tell me’. But in those frequent cases when you know it’s not all right

and you can’t tell her, prepare for a clipped ’well, I’ll see if so and

so has time to call you back’. Prepare never to speak to so and so

again.



And on those occassions when you know you will have to tell them what

you’re ringing about, the nosiest of PAs will attempt to answer your

query on behalf of their bosses. They fully expect you to treat their

answer as if it had come from the mouth of the agency chief you were

chasing.



I know that bosses are not guiltless in this. They think Karen, Claire

and Alison are brilliant because they are not being interrupted by any

phone calls - but God knows what clients think when they get these

power-crazed individuals on the end of the line.



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