Sometimes I'll call these guys up, and I get the secretary right off the bat. OK, fair enough. I realize that they have a function in the business (typically to weed out guys like me ...), and they're just doing a job. Again, fair enough. But what I don't get is when they ask me 20 questions just to turn around and tell me that he's not there! What's up with that?!
Me: "Hi, this is Wes calling for X."
Them: "Um, who is this?"
Me: "This is Wes from the X Company."
Them: "Where are you calling from?"
Me: "San Francisco. Is X available?"
Them: "What is this regarding?"
Me: "I just have some questions I need to run past him if he's there."
Them: "Oh, he's not in, would you like to leave a message?"
Seriously. Why did we have to have that little dance? You could have saved us both a lot of time by just letting me know, from question 1 that he was not in the office. I realize that you might be screening me, but this is a terrible way to do that. It just wastes my time, your time, and potentially a client's.