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by Abigail Van Buren

Company Receptionist Lambastes People Who Won't Use Voicemail

DEAR ABBY: I'm a receptionist. There's a growing trend that people don't bother to listen to their voicemail. Instead they'll call our firm and say, "Someone from your office called me. I want to speak with them." They get angry with me when I tell them I have no way of knowing who called them. Our firm is a large one.

I don't know why people are so lazy and inconsiderate that they don't listen to their messages. In a couple of instances important information was left on their voicemail, and the person missed critical deadlines that cost us money. The head of my firm deals with a lot of younger clients, and it seems the younger the person is, the less likely they will listen to any of their voicemails, or their voicemail boxes are full, so it's impossible to leave a message for them. -- FRUSTRATED RECEPTIONIST

DEAR FRUSTRATED: If someone calls the main number, it may be that it's the one that showed up on the person's phone. Tell the caller that he or she has reached the main number, and you need the name of the person before you can make the connection. It's the truth. It might also be helpful to suggest to your boss that because younger clients often don't listen to their voicemails or pick up when their phone rings, sending them an email or text might be more efficient.

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