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DUTIES OF A RECEPTIONIST

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. 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 drawers. 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 visitor’s initial impression of the whole organization. Often the receptionist’s 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 individual’s 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 Smith’s desk is located. If possible, take the visitor to Lieutenant Smith, introduce him, and briefly state the visitor’s 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. TELEPHONE PROCEDURES 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 speaker’s 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 2-3



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