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Etiquette Tip of the Week: The Narrow Gate and Important Date

Earlier in my career I worked for Sony Music, the Epic and Columbia recording labels.  I started on the front phones and you can just imagine the crack-open-a-can-of-crazy people that call into a music label.<//span>


"I am a very close friend of Mariah Carey, but I lost her phone number.  Could you give it to me?"

Me: "Sure, it's right here in my rolodex." (Click.)


One day, a man called in saying he was Eddie Money.  I said, "Right."  I put him on hold and said to the woman at the next desk, "Get this, this guy says he's Eddie Money."

She said, "Did he ask for Mike?"

I said with some hesitation, "Yes..."

She said, "That IS EDDIE MONEY."

I quickly picked up the phone again and said, "Mr. Money, he will be right with you."


This Wednesday, April 25, is Administrative Professionals Day.  Always be nice to the person who answers the phone -- the executive secretary, assistant or receptionist.  He or she is the gatekeeper -- the person who puts your call through...or not.


When calling a business, announce yourself to the person who answers the phone:
“Hello, this is (first name, last name), May I please speak to John?”


Add your company name or your department if calling for business:

“Hello, this is (first name, last name), I am calling from X Company…”

“Hello, this is (first name, last name), I am calling from the IT Department.”


Do not put the person answering in an awkward position by saying, “Don’t you recognize my voice yet?”  That your voice is unremarkable and not memorable is not that person’s fault.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7111 / Fax: (701) 231-8756
Campus address: Ceres Hall 306
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5280 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Career Center

Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013
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