If you just wanted to know that, I think you should make it really clear, and just “Is Mickey in the office today?” could be interpreted as a request to speak to him. I’d make it clear by saying something like, “I don’t need to speak to Mickey right now, but is he in the office so I can fax some documents to him?”
I’ve found that about 85% of the time, identifying myself first is useless. The receptionist isn’t ready to process that information, and they will ask me to repeat it after I tell them who I want to speak with. Some buisnesses announce the call, while others just forward it to the desk. Some screen, some don’t. So my default is to let the receptionist ask who is calling, etc.
If it sounds like a “real” receptionist answers, I typically ask “May I speak with ____” A"real" receptionist is pleasant and verbose.
If I get a random employee, I’ll use some variation of “I’m trying to reach _____” instead. Random employees pick up the phone and say “Machine shop” or “This is Scott.”
In the old days, if I got a switchboard operator, I would just say “_____ please”, or better yet “Extension ____, please” You could tell a switchboard because the operator was typically frazzled and a bit impatient sounding. They almost never announced or screened calls…it was all they could do to keep up with incoming calls.
I fail to see how the non-question question is bad in this context. I imagine it going more like this:
Interviewer: You had a great game out there!
Nonasshole superstar: Well we all played as a team, our ball handling was much better than last week, and we really worked on our tackling, which we’ve really needed to step up lately.
It lets the superstar talk about what* they* think is important, which is, IMHO, the whole point of the interview.
As for asking to speak with somebody, for an informal call I used to say, “Hey, it’s Santo, is Mickey there?”, but I changed it a few years back to, “Hey, it’s Santo, is Mickey around?”.
Since I was job searching in college, I’ve always answered my office and cell phones with, “This is Santo.” It usually saves a step.
Yeah, I can see your point about that. I still think it’s just lazy interviewing technique, though, which can backfire in the interviewer’s face if he does get a bit of an asshole to interview.
I remember the days when simply saying the name of the person you were calling was business acceptable. Actually, it’s acceptable again, with good voice recognition phones.
I know that identifying one’s self first is strictly correct, but in business situations, I agree callee then caller works better.
I used to answer the phone with name, but with caller ID, I tend to answer inside calls, “Good morning, Caller’sName”.
I’ve never had quite enough … nerve … to answer a call from my boss with ‘What fresh hell is this?’
We understand the implication of the plural pronoun.
I think the best way to answer the phone at work, hands down, is a yelled, angry, “WHAT??”
I don’t do much phone work.
The best response to a ringing phone is to get a cup of coffee, then wait for them to email you.
I email the person in the cubicle next to me (he’s busy; I don’t like to interrupt).
I’ve sent replies to his emails by paper airplane.
Communication should observe the proper forms, but those forms are syntactic, not technological.
I’ve been known, with certain very-carefully-selected callers, to answer “What could you POSSIBLY want NOW?”
Most of the time, giggling ensues.
I’m not a receptionist, but a lot of people who are calling somebody else at the resort I work call our number because it’s an 800 number, or else because it’s the only one they have, and therefore I transfer them around.
Sometimes I get people asking if the person they’re trying to reach is there. They may well work a mile up the road. I don’t know. And they’re not asking in a “may I speak to them” code – they’re asking because they got transferred to them and got their gasp voicemail! So they called our office back. Look, people, I can’t make somebody a mile away answer their damn phone. That’s what voicemail is for.
Now, if I get asked if a coworker across the office is there and she (we’re a pretty female bunch) is, I’ll check to make sure she’s available and then transfer the caller over. I’d never say, “Yes, she is,” and leave it at that – as tempting as it may be!
On the right day I could get away with something like “What fresh hell is this?” to my boss but it better be clearly a joke. My boss is cool.