ARRANGING THE DESK
You are always responsible for your own desk.
Exactly how you arrange your desk is governed by your
own preference and the kind of work you are doing, but
you should have an orderly plan.
Keep pencils, erasers, paper clips, and other
small articles in shallow desk drawers or trays.
If you spend most of your time typing
correspondence, you should ensure that an
adequate amount of letterhead or bond paper is
Keep unfinished work in a tray or basket.
If you are unsure about where to keep unfinished
work, ask your supervisor.
If any personal articles are kept in your 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 determine largely the visitors
initial impression of the whole office or organization.
Often the receptionists manner is apparent, even
before he or she moves or speaks, and it sets the tone for
When receiving and greeting visitors, you should
be guided by a few simple rules of business and
courtesy. If you do not already know the visitor, you
should ask the individuals name. You might write the
name on a slip of paper to hand to the person the visitor
wishes to see. Listen carefully to inquiries and exercise
intelligence and common sense before replying. Do not
expect the visitor to know all about the office or the
people in it. When referring to Lieutenant Smith, for
example, ensure 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 your office who feel like they have run
into a blank wall or that you were unwilling to assist
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 to an inquiry. You
should be careful to know just how far you should go on
your own and when it is better to let someone else take
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 for unreasonable lengths of time. If a
delay cannot be avoided, it may be feasible to suggest
that you call the visitor when the person to be seen is
free or to find out whether someone else can help.
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 time. Even when a
persons requests may seem a bit unreasonable,
maintain your composure and good manners.
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, to a lesser degree,
make 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. 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, listen to yourself and decide
whether you would like to be spoken to in that tone of
voice. Is it natural? Is it pleasant? Is it friendly and yet
businesslike? Remember that a conversational tone is
best for telephone use. Avoid voices that may sound
dull, pompous, informal, impatient, or too sugary.
Speak clearly and carefully. Be especially careful in
your choice of words to ensure that the intended
meaning is clearly conveyed. You should open a
telephone conversation by identifying your office and
introducing yourself when answering and calling
someone on the telephone. For example, This is the
Naval Advancement Center, AZC Smith speaking. If
callers fail to identify themselves when you answer the
telephone, and it is necessary to know the name, ask for