Ask the Admin: Is the Boss Away?

By | Apr 30, 2015

Today we have an interesting question from Heather:

My Question is: how do you word your response on the telephone and make your boss look available when they are out of the office on vacation or spending too much time on the toilet or just out of office on personal taks?

Thank you for your assistance!
Best regards,Heather

Now, my first question is, why does your boss not want people to know he’s away? But that’s neither here nor there. On to your question, Heather.

My usual expedient is, “I’m sorry, he’s not available at the moment. May I take a message?” Often, just from the message, I can tell if it’s something for which I should interrupt the boss on his vacation, save for his return, or delegate to another executive.

Actually, I use this same response whether the boss is in the office or not. It’s an excellent way to screen calls and save your boss from unwanted interruptions.

Thanks for your question, Heather!

Do you have a question you want answered? Just click the “Ask the Admin” link in the menu bar to send an email to me.

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1 Comment so far
  1. Thomasa Fox (1 comments) May 1, 2015 6:52 am

    Our standard line is “He is away from his desk. Would you like his voice mail or is there someone else I can transfer you to?” If the caller asks again, repeat the phrase but put the emphasis on the “his” desk. That appears as if he is in the office, just not his office. It normally works. I have had a few that didn’t want to take no for an answer and I stressed that his voice mail was the best option as he will get that even if he doesn’t see me.

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