. If any personal articles are kept in the desk,
place them in a separate drawer.
. At the end of the day, clear everything
possible from the top of the desk, set straight any
articles that must remain on top, and close all
DUTIES OF A RECEPTIONIST
At one time or another, you will probably
receive visitors and greet official callers at your
activity or office. The manner in which you
conduct yourself and the impression you make
determines, to a great extent, the visitors initial
impression of the whole organization.
Often the receptionists manner is apparent,
even before moving or speaking, and it sets the
tone for what follows. When receiving and
greeting visitors, you should be guided by a few
simple rules of business and courtesy.
An office is a place of business, so you should
show that you are there for work. In all offices,
you will have work other than attending to
visitors. If, for short intervals, you actually have
nothing to do, learn by watching or helping other
AZs. (You should not engage in idle talk with
other personnel during these occasions.)
Your desk may be right in line for the chronic
stop-and-chatter person from a nearby office. Be
pleasant but do not encourage incidental visiting.
Most people will leave if they see they are
interrupting your work. You must not, however,
give people coming to the office the impression
that you are too busy to help them.
As an AZ, you should understand that one of
your most important functions is to be of
help to other maintenance personnel, and no
reasonable request should be too much trouble.
You should be polite, pleasant, and considerate
at all times, even with people whose requests seem
a bit unreasonable. You should retain your
composure and good manners.
If you do not already know the visitor, you
should ask the individuals name. You might write
it on a slip of paper to hand to the person the
visitor wishes to see.
You should listen carefully to inquiries. Use
intelligence and imagination in replying. Do not
expect the visitor to know all about the office and
the people in it. When referring to Lieutenant
Smith, for example, you should make sure that
the visitor knows where Lieutenant Smiths desk
is located. If possible, take the visitor to
Lieutenant Smith, introduce him, and briefly state
the visitors business.
If you cannot help, suggest another source that
may be used. This is where broad on-the-job
experience is useful. You should never let people
leave feeling they have run into a blank wall.
A good receptionist is, to some extent, a buffer
for the other people in the office. Time can often
be saved if the receptionist knows the answer. You
should be careful, however, to know just how far
to go on your own and when it is better to let
someone else take over.
When the people in the office are especially
busy, the receptionist should protect them as
much as possible without denying legitimate
requests or causing visitors to wait an unreason-
able length of time. If a delay cannot be avoided,
it may be feasible to suggest calling the visitor
when the person to be seen is free, or find out
whether anyone else can help.
When a small child first tries to talk on the
telephone, the child is likely to nod the head for
yes instead of speaking. Many adults make, to a
lesser degree, the same mistake. They forget how
important facial expression and gestures are in
face-to-face conversation and that these factors
are missing on the telephone. Remember the
old expression, When you say that, smile.
Misunderstandings can arise on the telephone
because the person at the receiving end cannot see
the speakers expression.
People sometimes develop telephone voice
mannerisms that give a misleading impression. To
avoid this mistake, you should listen critically now
and then, and decide whether you would like to
be spoken to by that voice. Is it natural? Is it
pleasant? Is it friendly and yet businesslike?
Remember that a conversational tone is best
for telephone use. You should speak directly into
the transmitter with the mouth about an inch
away. Among voices to be avoided are the dull,
the whining, the pompous, the too formal, and
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