Frustrated person on phone

Diary of a high street conveyancer: 27th February 2023

Conveyancers all have that one irritating thing that happens far too often. It may not be the same thing for all of us – it may even be something where others ask, “is that it?”

I am sure that we all have one and when it happens, we have to count to 10 and remind ourselves that we are the ones who it irritates and that we need to appreciate that it may not be annoying to the other person.

It could be something like a client turning up without an appointment and just expecting to be seen. That frustrates me but it is not my number one annoyance. It could be the client, agent, or solicitor who calls you, leaves a message, and then instantly emails you to say that a message has been left and can you call back urgently.

No, not that one either.

It could be the estate agent who leaves a message, then emails you, copying in the client, demanding to know why you have not returned the call you received all of 30 seconds ago. That does annoy me, but it isn’t the one.

My annoyance is when I call another solicitor to discuss a matter – and you will remember that I discussed this last week – ask to speak with the person dealing with the matter, and I am put on hold (incidentally, the best hold music I ever had was “we don’t talk anymore” by Cliff Richard!), only then to be told that the person I want to speak to wants to let me know [insert any guess as to what the person I was calling thought I was calling about].

That really annoys me – for various reasons. There is an assumption I am calling about something which the other lawyer thinks that they know I am calling about when it may be something completely different.

There is the assumption that it is ok for a message to be relayed that may not be what I was calling about. And there is the assumption that a message guessed at what I was calling about was sufficiently answered by someone else passing the message on.

I really can’t help it but the impression I often take away from this is that I am not relevant. I would far rather be told that the person I want to speak with is busy and can I call back or could the other lawyer call me back. But to assume what I was calling about and get someone else to pass me the message from that assumption is wrong.

I know that may not sound much but it really irritates me and also wastes my time – why did I bother to call if I cannot talk with the person I want to talk with about the matter I want to talk about?

This is written by a real high street conveyancer who wishes to remain anonymous. Read more in Today’s Conveyancer every week.

One Response

  1. I know this may be common practice, but I get annoyed by someone emailing me on behalf of someone else. It further annoys me when they either ask me to reply to the first person, or don’t tell me who to respond to.

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