Saturday, January 07, 2006

Phone Etiquette

I may have mentioned once, or maybe three dozen times that I dictate everything at work. Emails. Letters. Memos. Everything. Which was intimidating and odd for quite a while. But my associate assured me I'd get used to it, and sure enough I have. He even parlayed a few embarrassing aspects of becoming too comfortable with it and I laughed thinking they would never happen to me.

I was wrong.

When I dictate, I have to dictate punctuation, paragraph breaks, etc. Because as wonderful as my paralegals are, they are not telepathic. Yesterday, forgetting to switch out of dictation mode and into phone mode, I left a punctually correct voice mail message for another attorney. It went something like this: "As you know, the court has set our preliminary hearing for January 27 comma 2006 at 9:30 a.m. period." Fortunately, I only did it once and caught myself before I could make a bigger idiot of myself. Unfortunately there's no rewind button on voice mail.

Though it still isn't quite as bad as the time I was leaving a voice mail message for lead counsel of a national airline and managed stall for 2 minutes while I tried to find my work number so that I could leave it for him. I was new to my job and it wasn't memorized yet, so counsel got an earful of me stammering about how I was looking for my number. Then I managed to leave the first 3 digits of my work number with the last 4 digits of my home phone number and had to call the guy back to leave a follow up apologizing and leaving the correct number. He never returned my call.