1. Office Etiquette

    What is the correct response when someone calls your office and asks if so-and-so is available? I work in an office where often employees are away from their desks, so I usually end up saying “I’m not sure, let me transfer you and if he is not you’ll be able to leave him a message.” Is that correct?

    • Jody

      I think what’s “correct” depends on the office and people’s preferences. If a person wants his/her assistant (or whoever answers the phones) to screen callers, that person should always tell the assistant when he is or isn’t available, so that the assistant can make the proper response. If the person wants all calls put through, (even if they do go to voice mail) or doesn’t want his assistant to screen calls, your response is perfectly fine. Your response is also good if the person hasn’t told his assistant when he’s out of the office.

      If you’re still unsure, maybe you can ask your coworkers how they handle such situations.

    • Elizabeth

      I think the answer depends on whether you are that person’s assistant or whether you are simply their co-worker. If you are an assistant, I would refer you to Jody’s answer. However, if you are a co-worker, I think you can take “Is so-and-so available?” to mean “Is so-and-so there?” or “Can you connect me to so-and-so?” I wouldn’t say anything other than, “One moment, I’ll connect you.” They can either speak to that person or leave a message, and if they want to speak to you again, they’ll call back. No need to go into a longer spiel.

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