Re last week’s Punter: I hate people who hate secretaries. I hate
people who call my managing director or chairman and pretend they are
his long-lost chum or bank manager and think they’ll get through. Yes of
course we ’secretaries’ won’t put the call through. Daily we get about
20 such calls from financial advisers, insurance salesmen, overseas
investors and job seekers. Do you think that we do not know the
difference between someone whose call is not imperative to the running
of the chairman’s office and that of a client whose call is always
important? Of course we do - the difference is a client knows how to be
polite; the others don’t.
If a caller is unwilling to give information about what the call is
about (clients are more than happy to tell us the nature of their call),
we cannot put the call through. We are not paid to put through any call
that comes our way.
Speaking on behalf of all good PAs, I would add that we do not ’bark’
our names down the phone, but announce the office of the person we work
for. (Remember, we may work for more than one person so that’s why you
may hear the secretary announcing her name.) Nor can we pass on messages
to senior management if no message is left. Come on, use your loaf - if
you want to speak to senior management a) have the decency to be polite
to the person who picks up the phone, b) be honest about your call and
c) yes, you do need to have a reason for calling. You never know, we may
need some double glazing next winter.