It's You and the Gatekeeper and the Battle of Wit.
Gatekeepers for Jobseekers
“The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
Last time I promised I’d let all you Job Seekers in on the secret of working a company’s telephone directory for names.
Why would you want to do that?
Think about it. The person you want to talk to reside in that directory in the form of an assigned extension – the challenge is to find out who they are. There are ways and they’re so simple it’s stupid.
Look at this dial pad. See how 2 also has the letters A, B and C next to it? 3 has D, E and F? 4 has G, H and I and so on? When you call a company, especially after-hours, you’ll usually be greeted by an “Automated Attendant". Many times you’ll be invited to press one of the numbers for the “directory”.
The directory, my friend, is the employee roster of the company.
Usually you’re instructed with something like the following:
“If you know that last name of the employee you’d like to speak to, press the first three letters of the employee’s last name and then press pound."
“Pound” is the # symbol lower right on the dial pad.
Occasionally directories will be set up to reveal by first names but not usually. When you hear this you’re probably dealing with an office with few employees.
There’s a trick at this point. Never press all three letters of a last name. Many directories will “spill”* with the entry of only one letter!
*Spilling is what we phone sourcers call it when an information source gives up a lot of information.
There’s another thing thing: do not press the # symbol. Why? I can’t tell you but I can tell you that if you only press one letter and then the # symbol it will usually tell you that more letters are required. I’ve always felt that the # symbol after what you press tips the system off that it’s being used incorrectly but I could e wrong. If you don’t press #, and just press one number; let’s say “A”, and then sit there and wait sometimes the thing will give you every last name that starts with A, B or C!
Now, if that hated message does come on after you’ve pressed only one number and then waited, press only one more and wait. More directories are apt to spill all the names connected to that letter of the alphabet. Occasionally it’ll take all three letters but it’s not the usual case.
Directories that spill with only one letter are usually rather small. Two, larger and one that contains three letters can be quite large. A directory that requires the first four letters of a name is usually monstrous.
When I say small, a one letter spill usually contains no more than 50 names at that location, two letters, 100 names and three letters is anyone’s guess but usually does not go beyond 150-200 names at a specific location. Four letters usually means there are thousands in the directory.
Okay, now you know the trick of getting names. I know you’re wondering, “So what? How do I find the right name? How do I know who does what?” More on that in Part VI.
Telephone Names Sourcer
513 899 9628
Maureen at techtrak.com