Monday, January 24, 2005


The receptionist at work is on vacation this week, so I'll be covering the front desk for part of the day. This afternoon I enjoyed one caller's expressive nonverbal communication. At first she was verbal; she asked to speak with an employee, and I put her on hold while trying to reach that person. Upon finding that they were not in their office, I picked up her call again and we had the following exchange.

Me: I'm sorry, she's not in her office right now.
Her: Mmmmm...[disappointed tone]
Me: Would you like me to give her a message?
Her: Hmm...[thoughtfully]
Me: Or I can put you through to her voice mail if you'd like.
Her: Mm, mm-hmm![brightly]
Me: Okay, just one moment.
Her: MMM-hmm!

It made me wish I could answer the phone that way, without actually having to open my mouth. It would certainly solve the problem I ran into far too many times today, that of popping a mint or a bite of food into my mouth (what?--I was at the front desk almost all day with just a lunch break, I had to take my quick morning snack up there) and then having to chew chew chew so I could answer the phone. If I could just say, "Mmm mm mm-hmm, mm mm mm mm hmm?" when answering...well! wouldn't that be the height of convenience.