HR Chronicles: Know Your Purpose


A lady called my desk today. She asked for Donna John, I told her that she was speaking with Adanna John. She then went onto to say, “hi Donna, I’m calling because my mom passed”… and SILENCE.

As I waited for the rest of the information, I then realized that it wasn’t coming. So I said okay [in a concerned matter], hoping that she would continue. She went onto say that “Fred* told me to call you”, yet I was still very lost as to why she was calling.

To obtain further information, I then went onto ask “are you an employee here?” She says “no, but don’t you normally get these kind of calls, don’t people usually call about their pension?” Ah ha, here is the purpose of the call!

I know that HR usually has a bad rep when it comes to customer service, but this one wasn’t on me. I did let her know that she didn’t provide me with her name or the reason behind her call. However, to soften the tone of the conversation, I of course expressed my sympathy and informed her of the next steps.

The moral behind this post: Know your purpose when calling HR. Given the many hats that we have to wear, Mind Reader is not one of them. In order for HR to help you, you have to help them with at least knowing what you want. Even if you don’t know the specifics, give them a little something to work with. And most importantly, let them know who they are speaking with.

Know Your Purpose!