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Old 02.08.2011, 14:43
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Management Surveys and similar

Ok, I am the only person in this office that can speak English, so it is becoming quite common to have every week or so our secretaries screaming "HIIIIIIIIIIIIILFEEEE" because some English speaking person is calling.

When I pick up the phone (nummer unterdrückt, of course), I have someone with a Latin-American accent/ Asian accent on the other side mumbling the name of the company they represent (Mmmbl… Management… Mmmbl), or sometimes they simply say they are making a survey and don’t even give a company name.

The only thing in common with them all is: they want to talk to Mr. Boss. I work in “Mr. Boss Architekturbüro” so anyone with a telephone book and two brain cells could guess the name of the boss. I start getting a bit suspicious, so I force some more information out. If the boss is not available, they want to talk to a manager (apparently no one explained these people architecture offices do not have managers). And this is the point where the iceberg starts flipping: when I tell them “you can talk to me” they refuse vehemently and demand… a male manager. When I explain I am also a “manager” and the only one that can speak English, with a-loosing-my-patience: “Mister, there is only one manager in this office that speaks English, and that’s me, and I’m a female. Either you deal with it or forget about it”. They hang up shortly after.

We are constantly getting this kind of calls now. Anyone else has had the same thing in other fields? Has some spider collected all swiss offices phone numbers and they are trying some large scale scam? One time event I can deal, but it's the 5th different "company" in the last 30 days.

When I explained it to my boss what's going on, he asked me what exactly they wanted to offer. I just answered, nonchalantly, “Considering they wanted to speak to only males, I suspect they wanted to offer Ruby’s services”.
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Old 02.08.2011, 15:20
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Re: Management Surveys and similar

Can you ask them for a phone number and say Mr Boss will call them back? That is how we were advised to deal with suspicious calls. I know it doesn't deal with the annoyance of having to deal with them in the first place, but it could help shorten the time to the end of the call.
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Old 02.08.2011, 15:32
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Re: Management Surveys and similar

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Can you ask them for a phone number and say Mr Boss will call them back? That is how we were advised to deal with suspicious calls. I know it doesn't deal with the annoyance of having to deal with them in the first place, but it could help shorten the time to the end of the call.
That is quite a good, simple idea, and it never crossed my mind! Thank you for the tip! (I am not very good in secretary stuff...)

I get a tinsy pissed because of the offensive condescending tone about the fact that I am a woman in charge, so my mind blanks on the easy way outs (and keeps focused on the imaginary using of telephone line in non conventional ways).
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Old 02.08.2011, 15:51
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Re: Management Surveys and similar

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That is quite a good, simple idea, and it never crossed my mind! Thank you for the tip! (I am not very good in secretary stuff...)

I get a tinsy pissed because of the offensive condescending tone about the fact that I am a woman in charge, so my mind blanks on the easy way outs (and keeps focused on the imaginary using of telephone line in non conventional ways).
Just ask them nicely to hold on, place the phone on the desk and go for a coffee
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Old 02.08.2011, 15:52
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Re: Management Surveys and similar

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I get a tinsy pissed because of the offensive condescending tone about the fact that I am a woman in charge, so my mind blanks on the easy way outs (and keeps focused on the imaginary using of telephone line in non conventional ways).
Don't worry, you'll get used to it here. If I get one of those "but I need to speak to a man!!" callers, I try to catch one of the facility maintenance or mailroom guys from the hallway. They're definitey men, obviously this is what matters to the caller.
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