communication, office

Who’s Calling?

Being a worker drone at an MNC means that you occupy space in a cubicle along with a few other people.

And one of the cubicle duties you have, apart from taking making fun of everyone regularly, is to answer a colleague’s phone when it’s ringing and he/she isn’t around.

So you pick up the ringing phone and say, “XYZ is not around right now.” Then you hang up.

But what do you do when, precisely 60 seconds later, the phone rings again, and it’s the same person? And after you’ve picked up and put it down the third time this happens, it rings…again?

In most MNCs, a certain level of formal phone etiquette is demanded, to go with the starched collars and tight neckties. Ad agencies, however, expect – no, demand – a lot less formality, and a lot more madness.

So the next time the phone rings for the fourth time, pick it up yourself and do something like this:

  1. Put on your best impression of an ‘I’m currently falling from the top floor of a very tall building’ scream…complete with the “Thunk!” at the end of the fall.
  2. Pick up and sing, “Na na na na…” Hang up. When it rings, pick up again and sing, “Na na na na…” Hang up. When it rings, pick up and sing, “Hey, hey, hey…GOODBYE!!!” Slam it down.
  3. Burp into the phone. If you’re an accomplished burper, try and do the alphabet. See how far you can get before the caller hangs up, hopefully for good.
  4. Pick up and say (in your best imitation), “CEO’s office…”
  5. Forward the call to the office playboy/slut. You might just score some blessings here…
  6. Tell the caller that the person they’re calling has just quit. Or worse, died. Refuse to acknowledge that you’re just kidding.
  7. Take your cue from Hindi movies. “Hello, is XYZ there?” “Nahiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnn!!!” Loud enough to burst a eardrum.
  8. Ignore what the caller’s saying. Instead ask, “Listen, have you heard that we’re retrenching? God, I hope they’re firing you and not me!” Hopefully that will distract the caller enough, and might just spark off a rumour that’ll keep you entertained for a few days.
  9. Pick up and say, “Hello, what can I do you for?” Once you’ve told them that XYZ isn’t around, ask when they’d like you to do them.
  10. Heavy breathing.

And if nothing seems to keep the caller away, try this classic. Call on their extensions, put on a desi accent and say, “Hello, EksVaiJhed? Aapke liye vhijiter hai.”

And if that doesn’t get them off your case, smash the phone. Preferably on their heads.


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