Friday, September 18, 2009

Professionalism is overrated

Usually, when I'm at work, I do my best to be work-appropriate when I answer the phone. In keeping with my usually reserved and subdued personality, I do my best to act and speak professionally, while providing the best experience possible for those who come in contact with me in a business capacity (friends are a different story - I'll push your buttons until you physically stop me!). However, as business relationships evolve, they become less professional and more personal, depending on the rapport built up between all parties involved.

Given that statement and the beauty of caller-ID, sometimes the phone gets answered with a more casual "Yo!" or "Whatchu want?" or "What UUUUUUUP YO?!!!", rather than the usual "Hello, This is Lucas, how can I help you?". You know you're calling me, I know you're calling me, let's cut the crap and get down to talking about what we're each doing this weekend or how hungover you are.

The only problem is, sometimes this doesn't always work. With the advance in phone system technology, many times you can only recognize which company the call is coming from rather than the individual person. On a more than a few occasions, I have been the beneficiary of phone calls from coworkers of those with whom I've developed the rapport described in detail above (Paragraph #2, line #6, word #7). On these occasions, after I answer the phone with the casually-inspired "Yuuuuuuuuup", followed by silence on the other end. That silence is soon broken by a feeble "Ummmm, yeah. I'm looking for Lucas H?", in which case I then have to redeem myself in an unredeemable situation. I've already become "that guy". Nobody wants to be "that guy".

Instead of changing myself, I propose an end to traditional ways of answering the phone. Imagine how much more fun work would be if everybody tried to catch everybody else off guard when they answered the phone. I suspect that only rickety old sales professionals and company-lifers would object, but they'll be gone soon enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment