Just called someone who doesn't know me, but I am supposed to interview him for a profile. His company had requested some publicity so this was sort of a favor.
I have his name, his number, his extension. I call and it rings and rings. Finally a woman answers in such a rushed way that it put me off... I said "Joe Smith, please, extension 123." Well, those weren't my exact words, but I've changed the name. She spits out, "Your company?" in this disgusted, rushed way." I said the name of the magazine.
Then I'm on hold with this stupid "your call is important to us" in a continuous loop for a while. Then the woman returns and tells me my guy is in a meeting and asks rudely if anyone else can help me.
I then feign confusion, innocent confusion... "Gee, I was supposed to interview him for a profile of him in x magazine."
"Hold on" she says.
Next thing I know, the guy picks up his phone. Oh man, that irritates me.
So I say to this guy, who I don't know from Adam, "Wow, that was painful." He said, "What?" and I said "the way I was just treated by your receptionist."
I so rarely say stuff like that, but god damn, I'd had enough.
So now we have set a time for the interview, so there may be a part 2 of this when I call back at 4:30.
Meanwhile, a friend of mine called right after and I told him and he said one of his clients has similar bad phone handling and when they answer the phone, all you hear is the last syllable of the company name. He told his client this, an upper-level person, and how he should call the public number and hear it for himself. He did, and agreed it was bad, but later told my friend that this is an HR problem and he can't really do anything about it. Ok, my friend said. He tried.