Whatever happened to that now extinct species, the BT-trained
She knew how to handle incoming calls and would happily transfer media
sales people to the managing director with a bright ’certainly’.
These days, if I ask to speak to, say, Mr Smith, I am asked my name,
company, nature of my call and whether Mr Smith knows why I am
Of course he doesn’t, unless he carries a crystal ball with him.
It’s like the Spanish Inquisition. I answer all these questions, give
the secret password plus my inside leg measurement, only to be told,
’he’s on holiday for two weeks’.
And what do ’he has just stepped out’, ’she’s not available’ and ’he’s
off-site’ actually mean? Where are they all and when can I speak to
And what about ’there’s no reply at the moment’? OK, but when will I get
With the onslaught of voicemail, the answer is never. How do they win
new business without speaking to anyone?
Yesterday I was told by a telephonist I could only speak to the person’s
voicemail and that they had no paging facility. Having left ten messages
on the offending voicemail already, I declined to increase my phone bill
any further. My order could have been worth millions.
Got something to rant about?
Call 020-8267 4718 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.