Good Communications: Answer the Damn Phone!

Many years ago, I ran the  Complaint Department for the City of Honolulu. My home phone number was listed in the local telephone directory, as were the home numbers for every city department head, including the mayor himself. The one exception was the Chief of Police.

About ten days ago, I had reason to talk to the head of the “Corporate Communications” department of a major Hawaii company.  To get his phone number, I went on line to his company’s web site, typed in “Corporate Officers”, and hit the return key. 

Sure enough, up popped a page with photos of the company’s management team. Two thirds of the way down the page was my friend—a photo above  his name, job title, and one or two sentences for a brief job description.

But no phone number. 

In fact, there were no phone numbers given for any of the individuals being presented as the company’s “Management Team”. Not one phone number on the entire page.

I clicked back to the company’s home page and there, at the very bottom was one phone number.

I made the call and, after several rings, a female voice answered. It was a recording. In a business-like manner, she ran down a list of the various departments. Finally the voice said “For Corporate Communications, press one-eight.”

I did.

There was a pause, two ring tones, and another recorded female voice speaking rapidly and in a monotone: “Leave your name and number. I’ll call you back.” 

I did, but never got a call back. From Corporate Communications.