Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Phone Messages: A Primer

Over long years of having people leave messages on my phone, and frantically trying to remember numbers and names and exactly what actions these persons wanted me to take, I have perfected a script for use in leaving a phone message:

1. "Hi! This is MomQueenBee, and my number is 111-222-3333."

2. "I'm calling from Small College regarding your Big Idea."

3. (Choose one) "I would appreciate a call back," OR "You don't need to return my call, but I wanted to know I had received your message," OR "I prefer never to hear your voice again." (If you choose the last one, you might want to leave a fake number.)

4. (And this is CRUCIAL) "Again, my name is MomQueenBee, my number is 111-222-3333, that's 111-222-3333. Thanks so much."

See how easy that is? By both opening and closing with the name and phone number, the caller gives the call-ee time to scramble for a writing utensil and flat surface, and take down the number without having to replay the whole gosh-darned message.

You may think this advice only applies to persons who have out-of-home jobs. It does not. One of my finest moments as a stay-at-home mom was the day I was dressing a toddler when the phone rang and I couldn't find a pen or pencil or paper and ended up writing down a phone number in eyeliner on a mirror.

Oh, yes, I did.

So Boys, as you apply for jobs and ask for recommendations and generally become part of the larger working world, take a second and memorize this script with your names inserted at the appropriate places. In the long run it will be much more useful than most of the general education classes you're taking.

You're welcome.

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