was my interviewer in the wrong … or was I?

A reader writes:

I was wondering if you could help enlighten me on an extremely odd situation I had and whether I was wrong in any way.

A few months ago, I applied to an entry-level assistant/reception position for a large company. A third-party recruiter posted the listing, so he contacted me for an initial screening call and set up a phone interview with the hiring manager for the upcoming Tuesday at 11 am. The recruiter was incredibly helpful throughout and gave me the manager’s name and number so I would know who to expect.

When the time comes, I don’t immediately get a phone call but rather a voicemail from a number marked “suspected spam” marked number (meaning all calls from that number are auto-blocked/sent to voicemail). Listening to the voicemail and checking the number confirms it’s the hiring manager. I called back to explain that, for whatever reason, I didn’t get a call and only her voicemail. The manager notes how odd it was but proceeds with the interview, which went quite well.

The next day, Wednesday, I completed a personality survey needed for the second interview and the manager called that evening (5:30 pm). Again I don’t get a call, only a voicemail saying she’d like to schedule the second interview ASAP so I should call her back in the morning to schedule. The next morning, at 8:30 am on Thursday, I called her office number which went straight to voicemail and left a message stating my availability for the following week, as Thursday and Friday were too short notice (I ended up having food poisoning from dinner and was in no shape for an interview). I ended the message, asking for her to email since I was still having issues receiving her calls. At 3:30 pm, the manager left a voicemail to interview the following day Friday and as she “knows I don’t have a job right now or if I have other plans,” she insists that I confirm within the hour. I woke up from a nap at 4:45, called back, and left another message explaining I had been sick all day so Friday the next day was still too short notice but I could be available any day the following week and, again, asked to email because I didn’t want to keep missing calls/wasting each other’s time. The manager called again at 5:15 pm (still voicemail), insisting that I call back in the morning when she’d be in the office at 9 am.

I was exhausted by all the back and forth in just two days and felt incredibly disrespected as a candidate. I decided if this was how the company rushes my time and disregards my attempts at alternative communication, then it was not a good company to work for. The manager had emailed me the survey links, so I used that email and CC’d the recruiter to send my withdrawal from the whole process, along with a short explanation that her phone calls were marked “suspected spam,” I could not receive her calls and could not fix the issue from my end, so perhaps there was something she could do on their end to prevent this from happening to another candidate. I received a snarky response that she makes 100 calls a week, has never gotten a complaint before, and next time I should add expected numbers into my contacts.

I’ll admit her last point is completely valid and that’s on me. I think the spam call flag on top of everything happening in just two days made me wary of even considering doing that. But was there another point in time I was wrong? Am I justified to feel like this manager was unprofessional and I made the right choice in the end?

Well … it’s definitely true that the first time you saw her number was marked as “suspected spam” and the call didn’t ring through as a result, you should have whitelisted the number so it didn’t keep happening. This was someone you expected to have further communication with and — especially after the second time — it didn’t make sense to let that keep happening. And telling her that you couldn’t fix the issue from your end didn’t look great, since you could fix it by whitelisting the number.

So that’s your part.

But it pales in comparison to her part. Telling you that she expected you to interview the following day because she “knew you don’t have a job right now” is a ridiculous thing to say, and it reveals a lot about how she thinks and what she would be like to work for. This is someone who will demand you work unreasonable hours without notice because she “knows” you don’t have anything else going on, and who is confused about how much power her job gives her (over people who don’t even work for her — imagine what she’s like with people who do!) and is also rude.

I don’t necessarily think her continuing to call when you’d asked her to email is a huge red flag on its own. She may have figured the phone would be faster since she was trying to coordinate a meeting on short notice and you might not even see the email until past the time she hoped to meet … and it sounds like at that point she thought your only concern was that you kept missing each other, not that she realized her calls weren’t ringing through.

But that part doesn’t really matter because the “I know you don’t have anything else you could possibly be doing with your time” trumps all the rest of it anyway. That on its own is a deal-breaker because of what it says about how she operates.

{ 283 comments… read them below }

  1. ThatGirl*

    To be honest, I’m not sure how to whitelist phone numbers — I assume if I add that person as a contact that would do it, though. And I definitely would have done that after the first missed call.

    But – Alison is right, this is not a terribly reasonable person who you would want to work for.

    1. KoiFeeder*

      There doesn’t seem to be a whitelist setting on my phone- you have to turn off scam protection and then add the number to your contacts (because if a number is considered high-risk for spam it won’t let you add them as a contact). Just tried this with a known scam number and then re-blacklisted it, so it might be easier with numbers that aren’t high-risk.

      1. ThatGirl*

        On my phone (iPhone, Verizon network) I get a fair amount of ring-through still but half of them say “Potential Spam” and I almost never answer calls that aren’t in my contacts. Still, I obviously would answer a legit-looking number if I were expecting a call but probably NOT “Potential Spam”.

        I have not looked around for a Whitelist setting but I wonder if there might be one on the website?

        1. KoiFeeder*

          I’m android, verizon network, so it might be different on your end than my end. When I looked up android whitelists though I just got custom apps.

          1. CCC*

            I also use an Android and Verizon. In recent calls, there’s a “!” icon of suspected spam calls. If you click it, it opens a new page with an option to add the number as a contact. There is also an option when you click “report” to mark it as not spam.

          2. RPOhno*

            From past experience working on a team where specific numbers being blocked as spam could have been, quite literally, a life or death issue, there are two separate things that could cause this.

            One is local (your phone displays something as risky since it’s not in your contacts and shares no commonalities with your contacts).

            The other, though, is on your phone provider’s backend (they maintain an internal blacklist, subject to change without notice, and you would have to call them directly and ask to have a specific number taken off the blacklist for you personally, even if it is in your contacts). I learned a lot about the second problem when some providers, but not others, started randomly blocking crisis response team text alerts. It took some team members over an hour on hold to even try to have the number unblocked.

    2. kittymommy*

      This has happened to me quite recently (I have Robokiller) and I just added the number to my contacts.

      1. zutara*

        I had an issue where Robokiller stopped *all* of my calls from coming though, even ones in my contacts, even after deleting the app. I had to contact my carrier in order for them to fix it and I started receiving phone calls again.

    3. Princess Xena*

      Add the number to your contacts as ‘Hiring Manager @ Company’ or ‘Company’ is the best workaround I’ve found with iPhones.

    4. BigHairNoHeart*

      Yeah, this was interesting. Admittedly, it might just be technical ignorance on my part, but I’ve never had to whitelist a “suspected spam” call, so it really wouldn’t have occurred to me to do that.

      1. BetterJobNow*

        Hi, I’m OP. Genuinely this. Idk if it’s because I’m of younger gen but I’ve never had issues with the spam protection system so it just didn’t occur to me that I could whitelist

        1. Esmeralda*

          I’m ancient haha and I have unblocked callers, although I just ignore anything that shows as “spam” — I don’t even bother blocking them, since the display says “spam” and the city of origin (these are not callers I have previously blocked — those wouldn’t even ring. I have an iphone.

          I probably would have done what you did tbh — I just do not look closely at anything that displays as spam. Especially if calls are arriving when I’m not looking at my phone much or at all = most of the day at work (the main exception is, during pointless virtual meetings), mealtimes, sleep time, time spent with actual in person people… (ok boomer).

          Even if the calls had not gone to voicemail, the caller was ridiculous. They called at 3:30 pm and expected you to interview the next day? That in itself is nonsense. The statement that “you don’t have a job anyway” is just icing on this person’s entitled, rude, and snotty cake. AND you had already said that you couldn’t do it on the day they proposed — that’s sprinkles on top.

          If that was the only time they could interview, they could have POLITELY said so. But they didn’t. You were right to withdraw from that one.

          1. Elizabeth West*

            And the persistence in calling after OP’s assertion that email would be the best way to reach them. Big stupid red flags all around.

          2. Elenna*

            Yeah the assumption that “does not have a job” = “has nothing else going on and is available last-minute” is… certainly something. Says a lot about how much this person would value your non-work time if you took the job, as they apparently don’t realize that anything outside work exists…

        2. Unaccountably*

          I am An Old and it never occurred to me either. Whitelisting web sites in Adblock, sure, but I don’t even see anything on my Verizon Samsung that tells me I can whitelist a caller, unless adding them to my contacts does that.

          1. quill*

            It does, but I haven’t done it much either. I should probably figure it out as I’m job searching…

        3. facepalm*

          Do you happen to have a Google Pixel 6? Because there’s a known issue with calls not coming through at all (I’ve experienced this most of all with iPhone users) and no record of a missed call. On the caller’s end, it goes directly to voicemail. Now that most of my friends/coworkers know, they call back a second time and it usually goes through. But for calls that are arguably more important (recruiters, medical offices, etc), they wouldn’t know this.

          1. Splendid Colors*

            I’ve had that problem intermittently with a Motorola G Power on Google Fi. I have to keep clearing the cache etc. to get my phone to stop rejecting calls from even people in my contacts, when I am sitting at my computer in my living room 10′ from my WiFi. Not in the car (where it self-activates Do Not Disturb), not someplace with no coverage/WiFi, but somewhere that my phone typically works great.

        4. A Wall*

          Yeah, until reading that part of your letter, it would never have occurred to me either. I thought that “spam risk” numbers were designated that by your cell provider, so not only would I not have thought of adding it to my contacts at all, but my first thought in seeing the suggestion was “…….. would that even work??”

          According to the other replies here it may or may not, but yeah. Would never have come to mind.

      2. iglwif*

        I also don’t know how to “whitelist” a number, unless you can do that by just adding the number as a contact. My phone doesn’t tell me when it thinks a number is spam or send any calls straight to voicemail–maybe that’s a USian thing?–but I am an Old who has adopted the Youths’ policy of never answering calls from numbers I don’t recognize, and I do miss the occasional call as a result. Mostly, though, what I’m missing is robocalls from scammers claiming to be the CRA or my credit-card company.

        1. Things that make you go aaargh!*

          If you’re on an iPhone in Canada , besides adding the contact, you can stop those robocalls from ringing at all! Here’s how:
          1.) Go into your Settings icon (that’s the grey one that sort of looks like a steering wheel on your home screen) by tapping on it.
          2.) Once you’re in your Settings, scroll down to find “Phone”.
          3.) Click on “Phone” then scroll down a little bit to find “Silence Unknown Callers” which will show “On” or “Off”.
          4.) To change it, click on “Silence Unknown Callers” then move the little circle. When it shows the colour green beside the little circle, you will be silencing all those fake-CRA/credit-card company calls (and anyone else who isn’t in your list of contacts).
          5.) When you’re expecting an important call and don’t mind allowing the scammers’ calls to ring, just go into your Settings and follow these instructions to turn On “Silence Unknown Callers”.

          1. Things that make you go aaargh!*

            Oops, step number should say “… to turn OFF …” “Silence Unknown Callers” so you will receive the important call even if they aren’t in your contacts.

        2. Observer*

          I also don’t know how to “whitelist” a number, unless you can do that by just adding the number as a contact.

          That works for most systems.

    5. Nanani*

      This. If it’s a thing the phone is automatically doing, or being done at the carrier level, then it may literally be true that LW couldn’t do anything on their end. It can just as easily be true that they don’t know how even if it is technically possible.

      I can whitelist numbers because I use a phone screening app that I installed myself, but not everyone is doing that.

      1. Mangled metaphor*

        It’ll obviously be different in different countries, but I’ve just gone through my contacts history and while a couple of “suspected spam” calls I could theoretically whitelist, more than two others didn’t even have a number for me to unblock, and the option simply wasn’t there.
        I used to get a not insignificant volume of “Private Number” calls – usually my GP, but more frequently these are the company cell phones for service techs on their way to visit my house. I had to do a full reset of my phone (and ultimately changed my SIM carrier) after I blocked one pest caller with a Private Number, leading to ALL Private Numbers being treated the same.

        It’s entirely possible there was genuinely nothing OP could have done, except consider this a bullet dodged from working from someone unpleasant.

    6. thisgirlhere*

      Sure, but it takes just a quick Google search to figure it out, and seems odd that LW didn’t immediately fix the problem. The hiring manager (who is totally at fault for being demanding) could also have gotten concerned by the lack of tech savviness.

      1. RussianInTexas*

        Yes, this. If you are interviewing for an assistant/receptionist job, dealing with phone calls and the technology adjusted to it is part of your job, and not figuring out how to whitelist a number may very well be concerning.

        1. Cake or Death?*

          Does a receptionist answer a cell phone at work?
          How to whitelist a phone number on a cell phone has nothing to do with answering phones as part of a receptionist position. The phones at work aren’t going to be Apple or Android or even remotely close to how cell phones operate. Our VPN settings have nothing in common with cell phone settings.

          1. Whoop There It Is*

            No, but the employer could reasonably be concerned about your ability to proactively identify problems and troubleshoot solutions. That would be pretty important for a receptionist who is responsible for ensuring people can reach the front desk.

            1. Splendid Colors*

              I’m pretty sure that tech issues with Cisco etc. are not meant to be solved by the receptionist.

        2. Unaccountably*

          If my cell phone looked anything like my phone at work I would never answer calls again as long as I lived. They’re not at all the same technology just because they both have “phone” in the name.

          1. Unaccountably*

            P.S. I cannot blacklist or whitelist a number on my work phone. If I tried, IT would have a fit. I’m fairly sure the two situations aren’t that similar, though the hiring manager might think they are too.

        3. Just Another Starving Artist*

          “dealing with phone calls and the technology adjusted to it is part of your job, and not figuring out how to whitelist a number may very well be concerning.”

          Not really. Office phone systems are pretty specific and part of onboarding for an assistant/receptionist job is being trained on them. I worked various jobs with phone duties throughout my twenties; I was trained for the phones on every one, and not a single system was one someone could just “figure out” without a manual and possibly a conversation with customer service.

          1. Things that make you go aaargh!*

            You know that, but the hiring manager may not, and could have jumped to the wrong conclusion about the LW.

        4. Observer*

          and not figuring out how to whitelist a number may very well be concerning.

          Even when the person told you that they were also not feeling well?

          Also, expecting your receptionist to also be the tech person is often not a really great idea. We’ve had some great receptionists who really were not good at this kind of tech troubleshooting. Yes, you could train them to handle complex phone systems, and were excellent at dealing with all of the craziness that comes along with a customer facing job. So, the fact that someone else had to do their tech troubleshooting? Small price to pay!

      2. ThatGirl*

        I actually DID google it before I posted and … nope, did not get that info on a quick google. I could probably figure it out with some time, but it wasn’t easy to spot quickly.

      3. MCMonkeyBean*

        Agree, I think this is a both parties were wrong letter. The hiring manager was most wrong and really rude and I’m sure you don’t want to work for them anyway so at the end of the day there is no loss for OP and hopefully a lesson learned. Because OP was also wrong for making *zero* attempts on their part to add the number (which they were given in advance presumably for this exact reason! Next time, you should add the number to your contacts even before the first call) which probably would have solved it after the first call, and if for some reason it didn’t then they could at least say they had tried instead of throwing up their hands and saying “whelp, I guess there is nothing I can do!”

    7. June*

      I turned off my spam blocker after missing important calls. It’s important to ADD that number to your contact list so it goes through. I’m sure it was frustrating to repeatedly call this job candidate and never have a call answered.

    8. Katie*

      My phone allows me to it by looking at my recent calls. If I select a spam likely one, I can select not spam.

      1. GythaOgden*

        Some come from Private Numbers, which makes that harder. That’s mostly for doctors and hospitals IME, but it may be applicable here.

        1. MCMonkeyBean*

          It’s not at all applicable here; they were given the number in advance and were clearly able to call the number back.

          1. Splendid Colors*

            A “private number” doesn’t mean it can’t accept inbound calls. It means they have Caller ID turned off so that the doctor won’t get calls from randos all day. I have a friend who has hers turned off because she used to have a stalker and apparently was advised to block her outbound Caller ID.

    9. GythaOgden*

      I had that issue with a series of hospital appointments last year and searching my phone options revealed that on my phone (a Samsung A12, so a good brand but a low-end model) it was all or nothing. Either you take all calls or the phone decides to block everything from non-contacts. I actually ended up making an appointment with the hospital for a face to face meeting because it was easier than trying to take a call.

      That said, yes, if the hiring manager is behaving this way, she’s a glassbowl. When I was unemployed, I did a bit of volunteering, including in places where it wasn’t practical to be carrying round a phone all day on the off chance someone would call. In this job market, there’s no need to be worried about this particular role falling through.

      1. Mizzmarymack*

        I have a disabled kid and as a result I get calls from every zip code in the country where one of his providers lived during college. I don’t have a list of numbers, and I have to answer every call and be polite until I figure out who they are. i just got one from my area code, looked like a spoof, thick Indian accent… it was the scheduling coordinator for a state benefit office I’ve been trying to get to see him for months. Good news: he has an intake appointment. Bad news: I get SO MANY spam calls.

  2. Properlike*

    There is an I-phone setting that any number not in your contacts goes straight to VM. I ran into this issue a few times for non-spam numbers that were VERY important calls before I figured it out. It’s in your settings.

    1. Magenta+Sky*

      I’ve had issues with Google phone numbers, too, which some businesses are starting to use for workers who are not in the office. It’s because the Caller ID doesn’t show up right. I have a very important vendor rep who has to call me on my personal phone because the work phone just will *not* ring those calls through.

      1. The Rural Juror*

        For some weird reason, my project manager’s cell won’t accept calls from my cell. We still haven’t figured it out. When we’re remote, Teams isn’t always reliable. It’s been very annoying for the both of us!

      2. Splendid Colors*

        Google Voice has options about which number to show in Caller ID: the number of the phone you’re calling from, the number in Google’s system, or the Google Voice number. I don’t know if this is making things worse or better here. I am fairly confused about it so I can’t actually advise.

    2. Nerd patrol*

      TIL! I had no idea this was a (new?) setting! I was also recently interviewing and coordinating a move, and couldn’t figure out why I was missing calls or why calls were going straight to voicemail without my phone ringing. How annoying!

    3. Things that make you go aaargh!*

      Yes! When I’m expecting an important call I check and adjust the settings on my phone so that nothing goes directly to voice mail. I will risk getting a spam call because it’s vital to receive the important call. Being human I’ve goofed and forgot to adjust it for the first call, but then am doubly sure I won’t miss the second call.

      So the OP not receiving the follow-up call sounds like it was very likely an OP problem. Saying the problem was likely on the employer’s end would have made me ragey if I were the employer. But it sounds like it wasn’t a good fit for her anyway. The OP is fortunate to be in a position where she can turn down employment opportunities.

    4. Tirving*

      I have tried using this feature for a number that continues to go straight to VM with no success -very frustrating!

  3. EPLawyer*


    That is just such a rude thing to say. “oh you aren’t working so LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE is happening in your life.” You might be using your time between jobs to catch up on medical appointments, spend time with family, write that novel you’ve been meaning to write. To expect someone to only be about work shows her attitude.

    Thank food poisoning you didn’t get stuck working for this person.

    1. Nea*

      It’s not even “Literally nothing else is happening in your life” it’s either “I think you’re lying about being sick” or “I don’t CARE that you’re sick, I come first” and either way is yikes. OP, you dodged an office full of bees.

    2. BetterJobNow*

      Hi, I’m OP. I didn’t even mention the off-hand comments she made about COVID during my interview with her. I had brought up I have high-risk family and she later mentioned the office doesn’t sanitize as often as they should anymore and she thought the whole pandemic was made out to be scarier than it really was…..

      1. Nea*

        Danger, Danger Will Robinson!

        That alone would have made me say “thank you for your time; I withdraw my application.”

      2. SQL Coder Cat*

        Oh geez. Given your initial information I was already thinking you’d dodged a bullet. This update makes it clear you missed a guided missile made entirely of wasps’ nests.

      3. Johannes Bols*

        You dodged a bullet. Be thankful you didn’t get hired by her. She doesn’t work for the CDC, so how would she have any information about the pandemic being made out to be scarier than it was? She was disrespecting your family.

    3. Agnes A*

      This is how I’ve been asked on a date a few times. “You’re home on Friday night and have nothing else to do anyway.”

      1. Jerusha*

        …and yet, doing “nothing” on my Friday night is far more appealing than going on a date with you! Good _day_, sir!

    4. Elenna*

      THIS. She already obviously thinks that it’s impossible to have something other than work that’s taking up your time, imagine how awful it would be to encounter this attitude if you need to ask her to take time off for non-work stuff…

  4. A Kate*

    Alison is right; this is not a person you’d want to work for.

    Definitely not the worst thing in the world, and I imagine being food poisoned at the same time this was all going on surely affected you, but things like “figuring out how to whitelist a number” are actually the kind of problem-solving admin assistants are tasked with all the time, so it’s possible part of her annoyance was related to that; HOWEVER, it’s unprofessional and unnecessary to send someone a snarky response when you’re in a position of power, so she is wrong for having done that, too. She should’ve taken the high road.

    1. Magenta+Sky*

      “Definitely not the worst thing in the world”

      As any reader of this web site knows from the yearly lists.

      But one doesn’t need to win a prize for worst boss to be a *bad* boss.

  5. Nea*

    she “knows I don’t have a job right now or if I have other plans,”

    As Alison says, HARD NO right there. When people tell you who they are – believe them!

  6. Willis*

    I don’t understand the OP’s excuse for not adding the contact or adjusting settings from the start. It sounded like things were going fine when it happened the first time, and even if you get annoyed by the person later, you could delete them as a contact or block the number at that point. Adding a contact isn’t a lifelong commitment. Being pushed to interview on short notice because you don’t have another job is definitely rude, but the phone half of this seems like it’s on the OP.

    1. Popinki(she/her)*

      The last time I had a stomach bug, my brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders, either.

      1. quill*

        I don’t even need to be sick these days to not have my brain firing on all cylinders. (Also, people get new phones / updates and suddenly the thing is not where they remember!)

        1. Splendid Colors*

          Any time I figure out how to do something on my phone, I get an update that moves the controls (or won’t let users control the option any more).

    2. I should really pick a name*

      It sounds like it just didn’t occur to them.
      Just a brain fart, part of being human.

    3. Kella*

      It sounds like OP didn’t understand why the problem was occurring so didn’t necessarily know how to fix it. After the second time it happened, OP left a message asking to switch to email communications to avoid the issue. But the manager ignored this request. I can understand getting it in your head that we should do X to fix the problem and then getting stuck on trying to make X happen rather than pivoting to a different solution when X hadn’t even been attempted yet.

    4. anonymous73*

      Personally, if the recruiter had given me the hiring manager’s number prior to the interview (which they did), I would have added it as a contact in my phone. I tend to not answer calls from unknown numbers unless I’m expecting one at a specific time (I realize they were going straight to VM, but I would hope a number in your contacts wouldn’t do that). But I think maybe it all happened for a reason because the manager sounds terribly unreasonable and rude and I think OP dodged a bullet on that one.

      1. Seeking Second Childhood, CTA*

        It is unclear to me whether OP was given the same number the hiring manager actually called from. (ie work line versus cell phone)

        1. EvilQueenRegina*

          Or they were given her direct line, but the phone shows up on the caller display with a main number – that one used to happen with my employer until they changed it a few years ago. Unfortunately, the “display number” we used to have used to go through to some recording rather than a real person, which people complained made it difficult to get through to whoever they actually needed.

    5. BigHairNoHeart*

      The idea probably just didn’t occur to them. It didn’t occur to me as an option until Alison suggested it simply because I’ve never encountered this issue. You don’t know what you don’t know!

    6. Nanani*

      Not knowing how to do a thing isn’t “an excuse” especially if the blocking was happening at the carrier level or is the phone’s default setting that they never encountered before.

      1. Willis*

        If she didn’t know how to do it or know that she should, that’s one thing. But the letter said she was wary of adding the contact for some reason, which seems silly because of course you can just delete a contact at any point. It doesn’t matter for this job cause the manager was a jerk, but if it happened to be a job she wanted it would be worth it to figure out how to answer their calls.

        1. Willis*

          Lol, she had already withdrawn by the time the manager made the suggestion so of course it makes no sense to add her at that point!

    7. Hogsmeade AirBNB*

      I agree with you, particularly since OP was interviewing for an admin role. Having the impetus to search for the answer is a big part in succeeding in an admin role.

    8. BetterJobNow*

      Hi, I’m OP. I didn’t realize whitelisting/adding the contact was something I should do until I started browsing this website! I’m of younger generation so it just didn’t occur to me and I do recognize fault for that. I’ve never had issues with my phone’s spam protection so I trusted that there wasn’t anything I could do

      1. MicroManagered*

        I think that (being younger) is probably also what made you focus only on switching to email instead of how to get the cold-call through. Who wants to do an unexpected phone call from a stranger when you can email so easily?

        No worries, OP. You dodged a bullet!!

      2. All Het Up About It*

        Hi OP! This is a fascinating example to me of when being younger actually hinders the use of technology.

        Either way, glad you dodged that bullet and have a better job now. Extra yikes about the Covid apathy/disdain.

    9. kina lillet*

      I’m young and work in a technical field. It took a couple silenced (interview!) calls and being super annoyed about to A) have it click that it was this particular setting and B) turn the setting off, because I was enjoying the relative peace from spam calls.

      1. Freya*

        Yeah, like 95% of the calls I get on my phone are spam. I just checked the last month’s history and the non-spam are literally doctors and a butt dial from my dad. My ringer volume is always on mute because it’s usually spam; I find myself resenting the phone when I have to put the ringer volume up so I don’t miss important calls!

    10. Pomegranate*

      I mean, I don’t know. OP communicated to the hiring manager that there are issues with her calls going through and suggested an alternative communication method. It doesn’t seem like the hiring manager addressed that. She could have said “I know you said my call are going straight to VM and asked me to email, but I’m hoping phone would still be a better/faster way to communicate. Please see if there is a way you can whitelist my number”. Instead, hiring manager just ignored OP’s honest attempt at setting up a communication channel that works for both parties and continued using her preferred method hoping it will magically start working and then getting upset that it didn’t.

    11. Elenna*

      Meh, I’ve never whitelisted someone before, so I could definitely see myself not realizing that I could do it by adding them as a contact. (I also have basically no contacts in my phone because I never call or text anyone.)

      Sure, OP could have googled it, but a) they were sick for at least some of this, and b) they, like me before reading Allison’s response, might not have thought of the word “whitelist”, which makes it rather hard to google. I just googled “stop number being marked as spam” and only got stuff for how to prevent my own number being marked as spam, not how to whitelist other people’s numbers.

  7. Not A Real Manager*

    1) You don’t want to work for this person. They sound awful.


    2) I probably wouldn’t have moved you along in the process because of the phone issue. That is on you to fix (and as others have pointed out, something admins should be able to problem-solve for).

    1. JayNay*

      Speaking of, does anyone else think this interview process is a bit extensive for a receptionist position? one interview, a personality test and another interview after that? to do what, sit at the front desk and be friendly while receiving deliveries and guests? it just seemed a bit odd to me.

        1. T. Boone Pickens*

          Yup, this is a pretty standard interview process. First interview was most likely a 15-minute screening call to go over the details. Personality assessments are getting more common place and could’ve either been something the client company uses or the 3rd party recruiting firm touts as part of their service. Lastly, interview w/ the hiring manager.

          1. Reluctant Manager*

            Oh barf… I hope I never have to interview for a job that includes a personality test, and I will never give one.

            1. pancakes*

              Yeah, I see people mention them here often but I’ve never once been asked to take one, and would consider it a big red flag if I was.

            2. Please Mark This Confidential and Leave It Lying Around*

              Yeah, at “here is the personality test” I’d be “and here is where I thank you and say goodbye.” Never going to do that. Never.

              1. Splendid Colors*

                Personality tests are how they screen out anyone neurodivergent.

                That’s why my mom (most likely Autistic before the diagnosis was named) never got a job for a company after those came into use in the 1950s.

      1. EventPlannerGal*

        Many receptionists are really more like admins/office managers/PAs, especially in smaller companies where people are expected to wear many hats. (I think that’s actually pretty common – the idea of the receptionist being there purely to smile and open the mail is pretty outdated, IMO.) If that’s the type of job it is then that might be why the interview process was more in-depth.

        1. EventPlannerGal*

          Oh, duh, reading comprehension fail, it’s a large company! Could still be a wearing-many-hats type of reception/assistant job, though.

      2. anonymous73*

        Why should the interview process be less than another job just because it’s for a receptionist position? Most of the time, a recruiter will do a short phone screen to make sure you’re a good fit on paper. A personality test fits for the position, as you’ll be on the phone a lot and possibly at a front desk handling walk ins/clients (depending on the type of business). 2 regular interviews is not out of the ordinary – after the initial round, unless you’re 100% sure of who you want to hire, you generally invite the candidates for a second round before making a decision.

        1. Asenath*

          I’ve often wondered if the extremely long and complex interview processes I’ve read about here are necessary at all, for any position.

          1. Eldritch Office Worker*

            No, they’re not, and the specific way a process is unnecessarily long and complex can tell you a lot about a company

          2. alienor*

            The last time I changed jobs, about a year ago now, I got three offers: one after two interviews, one after four interviews, and one after five interviews. (I also went through seven interviews with a company that then ghosted me…grrr.) I ended up accepting the first one for various reasons, but high on the list was the fact that they were decisive and knew what they were looking for, and I liked that.

          3. SarahKay*

            I’m currently involved in helping hire my replacement and as part of that I was delighted to learn this week that my company sets a maximum of three interviews unless there are exceptional circumstances – and the first one of those interviews is just a quick screening call from HR to ensure there aren’t any huge roadblocks.

          4. anonymous73*

            2 interviews is “extremely long and complex”? Sometimes you have to meet with multiple people, and it doesn’t always make sense the meet them at the same time, especially if one is a higher level manager and their time is limited. I think 3 is pushing it a bit, but necessary for some roles, and when people describe 4 or more, that’s makes zero sense to me. But expecting to have 1 interview be enough is unrealistic in a lot of cases.

      3. JayNay*

        thanks for the replies. i think it was the difference between US and European hiring practices here that tripped me up here. thanks all for clearing it up!

        1. Elder Millennial*

          I’m in Europe and a phone screen, a first round and a second round doesn’t seem that excessive to me? A personality test might be a bit much, but in a big company they might make every candidate take one.

          (I’m in the northern half of Europe, for context.)

      4. Everything Bagel*

        I think a receptionist has to deal with all sorts of people and their personalities, which can be a huge task in itself. In addition, there’s directing people, handling mail and packages, using various software, etc., etc., etc., so much more than just sitting there smiling at people.

      5. Esmeralda*

        Nah, it’s an important position — it’s the first person many people talk to (on phone) or see (at the front desk). You want the right person.

      6. Myers Briggs is a horoscope for MBAs*

        This is very unrelated to the main point of the post, but as someone who studied personality psychology, any job that asks you to do a personality test is frankly a big red flag. 99% of the time it’s going to be a BS test (Myers and Briggs were con artists ahead of their time), and even the well-validated ones (e.g., Big Five Inventory) don’t have strong predictive validity for work quality. This doesn’t even take self-report bias into account.

        1. Unaccountably*

          I can tell immediately whether I’m going to be able to tolerate someone by whether they take the Myers-Briggs seriously. Tell me you’re an INTJ? Ooooh, sorry, look at the time.

          1. NotaDoctor*

            I had a business owner tell me in the interview they were going to be using Myers-Briggs to determine who would get Work from Home time once they returned to the office and they were looking for someone with experience who could implement it. I spontaneously combusted.

    2. Dahlia*

      Can we maybe acknowledge that it’s hard to be fully on the ball with active food poisoning?

      1. I went to school with only 1 Jennifer*

        I’m right there with you. Bad stomach is just the worst, for me.

        There are definitely things that can make me less-than-fully-functional (big dental work, getting a shingles vaccine, for two recent examples) where I can plan for it by doing it on a Friday afternoon so it’s the weekend when I’m knocked out. But food poisoning is not a thing one can schedule! I think people are being pretty unkind to the LW.

      2. I wouldn’t hire OP*

        100%. But there’s a difference between understandably dropping the ball because you’re sick and then saying “ah nuts, dropped the ball on that” when you’re better and dropping the ball when you’re sick and then writing to an advice columnist to complain that it was someone else’s fault

        1. Insert Clever Name Here*

          You have a typo in your last sentence, it should say “…writing to an advice columnist to get a gut check on if you were part of the problem.” After all, the last paragraph of the letter:

          – admits to dropping the ball about trying to whitelist the number (though see the many comments in the top thread about why that’s not necessarily as simple as “add number to contact list”)
          – asks if there was another point ASIDE FROM the one already admitted where OP was wrong

    3. GammaGirl1908*

      Agree with Not A Real Manager. There were issues on both sides, about 65% interviewer rudeness and about 35% LW’s lack of problem-solving effort.


      In addition to the idea that LW could have tried harder to solve the issue, s/he also needs to be aware that because the job is entry level, the interviewer has probably 10 other people on the list who could do that job just as well, so cutting bait and moving on to the next candidate is the far easier and more efficient option than continuing to futz around with LW’s equipment malfunctions.

      Not calling reception / admin easy, but it is easier to find someone who can do an entry-level job reasonably well than to find a qualified VP of Special Events.

      If the two of you can’t even get a phone call together, and Persons B, C, and D would be just as good with very little distinction, and in the meantime you’ve already interviewed B and C and either of them would be fine, and now they are waiting for an answer, it doesn’t make sense to spend two more weeks playing phone and voicemail and email tag with Person A. Move on.

      1. Not A Real Manager*

        Yes. I was thinking of this aspect too. I’ve done hiring for entry level work/interns/background extras and while I’m sure many applicants would be great in the role(s), because those applicant pools are larger, cuts happen faster. Can I get in touch with them is often an early determining factor because if I can’t, I have 20 more people to call.

      2. Lizziana*

        Yeah, I’m dealing with that right now. I’m sure the person I’m trying to interview is a lovely person, but if setting up a call is this complicated, I’m worried about how hard it will be to communicate with them if they’re hired. I have several other good options.

        It’s also not clear to me that OP told the interviewer she was sick.

        OP absolutely dodged a bullet here based on the interviewer’s comments, but OP may still want to use this as a learning experience about problem solving while job hunting.

    4. SnappinTerrapin*

      This isn’t LW’s problem to solve, but frankly, if I were managing a large organization, the receptionist position would be promoted from inside the organization. A good receptionist should be able to screen calls so they get to the person or unit that can address the caller’s issue, not just blindly connect them to whoever they ask for. It can save the organization and its customers a lot of time and effort if the receptionist is familiar with how the organization actually works.

      Source: I worked in management for a State agency. We put experienced admin employees in this position. Occasionally, senior managers filled in, rather than a green clerk, because of the need for this organizational knowledge.

      And, yes, LW should get some grace for being sick.

      And the hiring manager was a jerk, no matter what LW might have done differently.

      1. Things that make you go aaargh!*

        That sounds like a brilliant solution, promoting an admin employee into the receptionist position. In too many organizations I worked with, reception was considered the entry place for anyone who wanted to become an admin at the organization and was paid a lower salary. Yet, it was such a vital position that was often difficult to fill, for some organizations in particular.

  8. Person+from+the+Resume*

    Well, you were wrong in that it was your responsibility to fix the phone number marked as spam problem because it was your phone or app or something on your end causing that. It was not something she could fix for you, and it was impacting timely communication.

    OTOH she was much more wrong treating you so rudely so nothing was lost.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Random question: Are you adding the plus signs into your user name or did the site do that for you when you had spaces there? I’ve seen a bunch of this today and can’t figure out if the site is causing it or not (because it’s not happening across the board).

        1. Antilles*

          There were a bunch of people in the comments of the previous post who had the same thing happen to their user name too as well.

      1. Wants Green Things*

        I had the plusses when I first commented this morning. I had to remove them from the name box.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Also, if the plus sign version of your commenter name got saved with a cookie, you may need to retype your commenter name to get rid of it going forward!

      2. Shiba Dad*

        I noticed a + sign in the name field earlier, but I think I caught it before I posted with it.

    2. fhqwhgads*

      I think the OP was under the impression the call going directly to VM due to being spammy was on the phone provider side, rather than their own device settings side. It could’ve been either or both.

  9. animaniactoo*

    Here’s the thing about her utter gall in that sentence: Apparently she ALSO assumed that her company was your ONLY option, and not that you might not have commitments like…. interviews with another company, which is what I would assume somebody who was job searching might be doing with all their “oodles /sarc” of free time.

    I mean, amazing to believe that you might have no other commitments or appointments during this time that you’re taking care of while you can… but cherry on top to assume that you’re sitting around just WAITING for her call and you’re not out pursuing other options too.

    1. Everything Bagel*

      That manager would probably be insulted to think that OP isn’t completely committed to working at her business.

  10. BL73*

    Wrong on both ends, I agree. As someone who hires, I have a tight deadline with scheduling so having you not whitelist my number would have been frustrating. I don’t like to do email because sometimes emails go to spam folders or not everyone checks their emails promptly. I’m not going to speculate on whether you missed a giant hole of despair because I just don’t know. Again, I do a lot of hiring and it’s hard to coordinate everything and sometimes I have to interview by x time or the posting closes. If at all possible, I try to work around schedules. The comment about nothing better to do seems…odd. I can’t imagine saying it.

    1. Pocket Mouse*

      With all due respect… unless you suggest whitelisting the number to someone, you can’t get frustrated about them not doing it. And if someone requests you email them, especially if and because your calls have been marked as spam, they’re more likely to be checking their spam folder than during other times in their life. It’s a weak rationale if that’s your only rationale for not using email (which isn’t what you said, but it sounds like you said it because you wouldn’t have emailed the OP either).

      Your comment comes off as slightly dismissive to me. I can appreciate that you do a lot of hiring and that time is precious, but I get the sense you’d be thinking something similar to what the hiring manager in the letter said out loud.

      1. SnappinTerrapin*

        And if the timeline is so tight that the interview really does need to be expedited, there is a more courteous way to communicate that than to sneer about the LW “not having anything else to do,” or words to that effect, as this hiring manager did.

        Calling at 3:30 to schedule an interview the next day is a big ask, and it’s not unreasonable to expect a hiring manager to acknowledge that and offer some context.

  11. ZSD*

    I had no idea that “whitelisting” numbers was a thing. Someone above mentioned how to do this on an iPhone. How do I do it on my Android phone?

    1. Art3mis*

      Might depend on which phone/carrier you have. I have a Samsung on Verizon. If I get a call from Potential Spam I can bring up the number from recent calls and add that number to my contact list. Potential Spam calls still ring on my phone, but they are marked as such and I can choose to ignore them, they don’t automatically go to VM. Different carriers/phones work differently though.

      1. Charlotte+Lucas*

        I have a Pixel with Verizon. It’s a very clear option when I look at call history.

    2. Everything Bagel*

      On my Pixel, I just go into the recent calls list, click on the call and mark it “not spam”. Not sure if I have to then save it as a contact, but I would in this situation just to be safe.

    3. Squidhead*

      If you add the number into your contacts it should ring through. You can further add it into a list of exceptions for do-not-disturb mode if you like.

      My Samsung came with an app from my carrier (T-mobile) that can automatically send suspected spam calls to voice-mail. I turned off the app because of missing calls that were actually legit but were getting declined; I generally don’t answer the phone if I don’t recognize the number but if I’m expecting, say, the plumber to call then I don’t want it getting declined!

    4. Koalafied*

      I do think for a receptionist position, the type that will do best will see a call that they know isn’t spam being marked as spam, and their default reaction will be, “oh, that’s not right. how can I correct it?” Not someone whose default reaction is, “oh, that’s not right. I guess this is just wrong.”

      On my Android phone if I go into my call history and find a number marked as screened potential spam, if I tap the number, three options expand below it: Block, Not Spam, History. It’s not a hard to find setting if you’re at all looking for it, but to be looking for it you do have to be the kind of person whose reaction to a technical problem is to assume it can be fixed and try poking a few things to see if you can fix it.

  12. Lady Glittersparkles*

    She was very rude! I agree that her statement alone justifies pulling out of the process.

    On the other thing, I don’t know if there’s something in my settings causing this, but my phone sometimes marks legitimate numbers (my doctor’s office, my dog groomer, etc) as “scam likely”. So I wouldn’t assume it’s a problem on their end.

    1. Koalafied*

      Yes, a few years ago when I was refinancing my mortgage, calls from one of the two people I was working with were being flagged as likely spam/scam. This was for PNC which you’d think is a big enough bank to mostly have their stuff together and just randomly one of their many numbers was getting flagged that way.

      All this stuff runs on imperfect algorithms. Machine learning algorithms require continual feedback about the accuracy of their judgments to be any good. When you deploy then in a dynamic environment where what’s accurate can change and they only way they can learn about the change is by getting feedback that they were wrong, mistakes are unavoidable.

  13. The Lexus Lawyer*

    This is an ESH situation imo.

    But at the end of the day, I think OP dodged a bad situation so all’s well that ends well.

    1. Koli*

      +1, ESH. This whole situation sounds exhausting. The LW did not engage in some very simple problem-solving that could have resulted in a different outcome, including (1) adding the phone number – which was provided by the recruiter – to their phone contacts, (2) calling the manager between the typical business hours of 9 to 5 rather than at 8:30, (3) when leaving your message on Thursday morning, mention that unfortunately you’ve come down with a bug and won’t be able to interview or respond quickly to communications, (4) reach out to the recruiter to say you and the manager are having trouble connecting and can she provide the manager’s email address to follow up via email. The manager is not blameless, but I think it’s helpful to all of us to step back and think, where could this have gone right.

        1. New Jack Karyn*

          Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I love me some AITA. But I also like having this community NOT turn into reddit. Having this site be kinder, well-moderated, etc., is good for my own mental health.

      1. Jackalope*

        So she did mention on her later msg that she was sick and couldn’t interview Friday. And she chimed in above that until she got to this site she had no idea that white listing was a thing. You don’t know what you don’t know, and arguing that you should be able to figure it out somehow when you don’t know that the idea even exists, AND while you’re sick from food poisoning, is a bit much.

    2. anonforthis*

      She dodged a bad situation and (hopefully) learned a lesson as to what to do the next time this were to happen.

  14. higeredadmin*

    This has reminded me that I need to delete my former (also toxic) boss from my phone contacts, because the time his urgent call got caught in my automatic screening/call filter was truly something, and he was NOT happy about it. (I have an android phone on t-mobile and I never pick up if it is not from a number I know unless I am expecting a call.)

    1. Everything Bagel*

      “…unless I expecting a call”. Lol and that is precisely the moment I get the call to extend my cars warranty!

    2. SnappinTerrapin*

      I have the number of a former pain-in-the-neck employee saved, in case he ever calls. I don’t want to waste time listening to him beat around the bush when we have no need to talk.

      1. All Het Up About It*

        Exactly. I have numbers that I will not delete, just so I know NOT to pick up. Of course, now that it is so easy to block them, if needed, I could go that route. But just deleting a name so that I might accidentally pick up when I’m expecting a call from a doctor’s office, potential employee, potential employer, or few other scenarios when I will pick up a number I don’t recognize… Noooooo.

        Plus sometimes it’s fun to change those names!
        DoNotAnswer BossfromHell
        DNA – CrazyAssRollCoWorker

    3. Reluctant Manager*

      My parents missed their call to schedule a COVID shot last year because a SCAM LIKELY call went straight to voicemail. They had to request another call, and then they missed the next one because Mom didn’t pick up a call from an unidentified number in California (they live in Maine) while Dad was in the shower.

      Basically spam and robocalls are ruining everything for everyone.

      1. Seeking Second Childhood, CTA*

        Yup. I just learned by accident that family emails have been shunted to spam even though they were in my work contacts… no idea for how long.

  15. Littorally*

    Ha — the spam thing happens to my company too. Most of our common outbound call numbers come up as potential spam for at least some clients. I’ve had this mentioned to me by multiple people.

    (FWIW, we’re a big financial firm and definitely don’t engage in spam calling, not that this means much in the age of phone number spoofing.)

    1. Gary Patterson’s Cat*

      Happens with my company too because most people are now VoiP and not an actual phone anymore.

      1. Reluctant Manager*

        YES. And the phone/tech companies could solve this by requiring that people who generate a call from a number are actually assigned that number but they don’t.

    2. Random Bystander*

      I frequently get calls (well, it rings once–nomorobo) that are marked “Spam Risk” on the caller id. I don’t get any clear hits when I google the number that went with that, and I’m not picking up a call that says “spam risk” for the name of the caller. (This is on my home phone, but I’m working from home–I’ll check to make sure it’s not family calling, but any legit caller doesn’t get snagged by nomorobo.)

      1. Things that make you go aaargh!*

        I remember when, for a few years, we could Google a number we didn’t recognize and find out who actually owned the number. Then the scammers started spoofing numbers and the spammers clogged up Google with pages of non-functional “find out who’s calling from a phone number”.

  16. Dona Florinda*

    So not only she assumed you had nothing else to do, she also insisted on calling you (and expected you to call back) even after you told her you were sick?

    Add the unnecessary snarky response and I think you dodged a bullet there.

    1. Koli*

      I don’t think LW ever told the manager that she was sick, just that she was unavailable to interview. Granted that they shouldn’t have to give an explanation for why their schedule might be full! But I don’t think the manager went so far as to ignore the fact that they were sick and insist on interviewing anyway.

      1. Mercie*

        Yep, she did. “I woke up from a nap at 4:45, called back, and left another message explaining I had been sick all day…”

  17. Emily*

    For me the biggest issue is that you told her the reason you couldn’t talk the next day – you were sick! – and she ignored that. I would never work for somebody who insists you work through an illness for a non-urgent work reason. And as Alison said, you don’t even work for her yet!
    Good riddance, I think you did the right thing OP.

    1. anonymous73*

      She just told her she was unavailable until the following week. She never specified that she was sick. The hiring manager was rude, yes, but was not insisting she interview while sick.

      1. Emily*

        It says “I woke up from a nap at 4:45, called back, and left another message explaining I had been sick all day so Friday the next day was still too short notice but I could be available any day the following week and, again, asked to email because I didn’t want to keep missing calls/wasting each other’s time.” So OP was sick all day and thought they would still be too sick the next day.

      2. Hen in a Windstorm*

        Yes, she did. It’s right in the letter. “I woke up from a nap at 4:45, called back, and left another message explaining I had been sick all day so Friday […] The manager called again at 5:15 pm (still voicemail), insisting that I call back in the morning when she’d be in the office at 9 am.”

  18. AthenaC*

    I think this is 100% the hiring manager’s fault. Technology does all sorts of weird things, so if you get feedback that your first attempt is not working (for whatever reason) you try something else. A few years ago, one of my clients and I discovered that our emails often wouldn’t go through; we did have IT investigate, but meanwhile we had time-sensitive deadlines, so we both voluntarily switched to phone calls as a default to ensure that the other party received our questions / requests ASAP. No one had to ask us to do this; we both just mutually adjusted right away without being asked because that was more effective.

    The hiring manager’s persistence in calling after she’s been told the calls aren’t going through smacks of “MY convenience is the most important thing and everyone else needs to adapt to ME” and her “you’re not doing anything anyway” is a symptom of the same issue.

    Definitely dodged a bullet, OP!

    1. Yorick*

      I’m not sure OP told her that her calls weren’t going through until she was withdrawing, though. The interviewer may have just thought they were playing phone tag and figured it was fine to leave a message if OP didn’t answer.

      1. AthenaC*

        In the letter, OP said they told the hiring manager each time that the call didn’t go through. It doesn’t matter the reason; if you’re told that what you’re doing isn’t working, you do something else if you’re a normal person.

      1. AthenaC*

        I don’t think that matters – my point still stands that if you want to be effective you change what you’re doing if it’s not working. Doesn’t really matter whose “fault” it is, and that’s assuming you even know whose “fault” it is.

      2. Nanani*

        1) OP didn’t know that at the time
        2) OP tried to fix it by switching to email. Interviewer is the one who insisted on banging their head on the tech issue.

    2. Moonhopping*

      Based on the OP description I highly suspect the hiring manager may be using SlyDial or another version of a straight to voicemail dialer. The defensive response makes me think it’s even more likely and they didn’t like getting called out for it.

  19. Falling+Diphthong*

    OP, when I was having surgery last year I was getting a lot of calls from unknown numbers (medical people), and quickly figured out that I needed to turn off the spam-to-voicemail feature until that was done. Which meant I had to hunt around and settings, discover there was a setting, and unclick it. I am not a technical marvel by any stretch, but I did go into settings/preferences/etc and look for something relevant I could click on or off.

    And even I know how to add someone to my contacts, which you should have done after the first call, and then it wouldn’t be flagged as spam and fail to go through. So not looking for a technical fix on your end–and worse, announcing that one obviously didn’t exist, and then blaming your withdrawal solely on their failure to acknowledge that–is on you.

    That said, the manager was way out of line to expect you to instantly interview and that was a bad sign. Any number of things, on either side, can be “… you know, it’s not worth it, I’m out” for either of you. But the frustration level on both sides would have been lower if, after the first missed call, you put her in your contacts.

    1. Nanani*

      They didn’t know it was a situation that would be fixed by adding to contacts. I really wish people would stop assigning blame to OP. No one is at fault for having never encountered a thing before!

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        I had literally never encountered or heard about this problem before I missed a call sitting outside the hospital waiting to go in to my covid test. I then reasoned “Huh, I wonder if there is a setting here I could switch off?” and hunted through settings until I found one. Left it off for a few weeks, then turned it back on.

        I am the farthest thing from tech savvy, but for this I would start with looking at the settings on my phone, and then google “How do I let through a blocked possible spam number on iphone?” before telling someone the problem must surely exist only on their end.

        The manager put up plenty of flags and I think OP is reasonable not to want to work there. But the question was if she was in the wrong at all. Not checking for a technical fix on her end before declaring it unfixable was on OP.

        1. Elenna*

          I just googled “How do I let through a blocked possible spam number on iphone?” and got nothing but links on how to block numbers, which is the opposite of OP’s problem.
          I also tried googling “stop number being marked as spam” and got only links about how to prevent your own number being marked as spam, not other people’s numbers.

          Now, if OP didn’t try to fix it at all, I agree that’s on them. But if (like OP, and me) you’ve forgotten or never knew the word “whitelist”, this is a surprisingly difficult issue to solve via google.

      2. Cat Lover*

        But… google exists? It’s really easy to figure out how fix these things.

        There was not an attempt, which is the problem.

        1. Reluctant Manager*

          Google does exist, and it is very happy to show you inaccurate answers. For technology issues, sometimes I can do better by limiting to answers within the last year, but especially when different phones and carriers install their own flavor of software, the answer often tells me to go to a menu that doesn’t exist on my screen. (For example, I have a Pixel that I bought from Google. Someone with a Samsung may also be using Android, but Samsung may have customized the software, or their 2-year-old phone might be too old to be getting new updates, etc.)

        2. Elenna*

          Was there an attempt? I’ll agree that OP doesn’t mention an attempt in the letter (although, as someone else mentioned, food poisoning was probably part of the issue there). But as I mentioned above, this is a pretty hard question to answer with a simple google search.

        3. A Wall*

          There was an attempt: They gave the manager another extremely easy way for them to have the conversation. As has been covered repeatedly all throughout the comments here, googling this problem does not actually turn up decent answers because the more commonly asked permutations are how to stop spam calls or stop your own number as being marked as spam (which, interestingly, no one seems to fault the manager for not trying to google and solve? why is that?), the issue may not actually have been on the LW’s side / have been possible for the LW to solve by adding them to contacts in the first place because it could have been a carrier-side issue, and plenty of perfectly normal people all over here are saying they would have never ever realized this was a potentially solvable problem in the first place.

  20. Workin' 9 to 5*

    I’m really not trying to be too hard on you because I assume that you mean well but are just not experienced in the professional realm. The fact that you had to ask if you were in the wrong is a big hint to me that you have at least a strong feeling that you are. And that’s a good thing because it shows that you really do want to get this right. She should not have made assumptions on your availability based on your employment status. HOWEVER, it is 100% on you for not correcting the phone issue. Your reluctance to do so does not exhibit problem solving skills or your willingness to be cooperative. And to think that as a job candidate that you get to choose the preferred method of communication is just false. You should definitely follow the lead of the hiring manager and if they prefer to communicate by phone, then you should comply and quit insisting that they email you when for whatever reason, they were not comfortable doing. All of these things would definitely be red flags to me as a hiring mananger. But to add insult to injury, when you withdrew from consideration (which was probably a good thing) you should have refrained from lecturing the employer on fixing a phone issue that was not their issue in the first place! That you expected anything other than a snarky response from them, is unrealistic.

    1. JB (not in Houston)*

      Hang on, we have no reason to know that what the OP said rose to the level of lecturing, and even if it did, the employer didn’t have to respond at all if she couldn’t do so without being snarky. There was no reason for her to be unprofessional about it. But I guess I do agree that the OP couldn’t realistically expect anything but a snarky response, in that what else would you expect from someone who told the OP that because she didn’t have a job should couldn’t possibly have any reason to be unavailable at the hiring manager’s convenience.

    2. I should really pick a name*

      I think this response could have been just as effective without commenting on your thoughts about the LW’s level of experience in the professional realm.
      It comes across as condescending.

    3. NeedRain47*

      I’m not sure how being ill and not understanding the issue with the phone indicates “reluctance”. Reluctance would mean they could have solved the problem but didn’t want to. That’s not the case.

    4. Susanna*

      Why is everyone assuming the tech problem was on OP’s end? We really don’t know. And it isn’t the point, anyway. For God’s sake, would it have killed the interviewer to send an email, instead of deliberately calling when she had ben told several times there was a problem? This interviewer would have been a nightmare to work for.

      1. Here yet again*

        Because it was her phone that was screening the call as unrecognizable. Because of the ridiculous amount of spam calls that a lot of people receive, phones have become more savvy at screening them. But there are steps to take to make sure this doesn’t happen especially when she was provided with this name and number ahead of time. If I’m hiring an admin, I want to know that they are detail oriented enough to take care of something like this. Or at least someone who has problem solving skills to be able to solve it when it keeps happening. It’s difficult to screen for those kinds of things on a resume or even in an interview so when I’m hiring, I’m paying attention to all of the interactions and how they’re handled from the start. If someone is repeatedly hard to reach or making excuses from the start then that is a red flag to me just as the way the employer responded to this job seeker should be a red flag for them.

  21. Edward Cullen*

    I think it’s very inefficient that she insisted on only communicating with you by phone calls. In my experience, aside from a phone interview, most people involved in the hiring process will prioritise email as a medium due to the paper trail. I mean, I have an app that records all my phone calls, but I think I’m in the minority there.

    1. I should really pick a name*

      That’s very much a YMMV thing. There can be a variety of situations that make either phone or email more efficient.

      1. Antilles*

        In fact, this situation in particular could have been an example of where a phone is more efficient than email! Let’s imagine the hiring manager (HM) wasn’t throwing off red flags so you’d still want to interview AND that OP’s phone works correctly. Here’s how it goes:

        If it’s via phone, this is all a single phone call that’s like 2-3 minutes long. HM says we’re really excited about talking more can you do tomorrow, OP says I’m feeling sick but should be better by next week, HM says sorry to hear that but how about next Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm, OP says great that works, HM says sure see you then. Bam, everything is solved in one single burst, quick and easy.

        If that’s an email chain? That’s like 5+ emails back and forth – (1) initial email requesting a meeting this week, (2) OP’s reply about sickness, (3) HM suggests a couple of times, (4) OP picks a time, (5) HM agreement. If you include delays in checking email, that entire chain could easily take several hours of real-time waiting on replies. That’s clearly less efficient than a quick and easy phone call.

    2. Prefer my pets*

      I hope you disclose that at the beginning of all calls even if you are in a one-party state…I would be livid if I found out someone was recording every conversation without telling me in advance.

    3. Observer*

      I mean, I have an app that records all my phone calls, but I think I’m in the minority there.

      Oh, most of us have the CAPACITY. But most of us don’t use it. Make sure it’s legal where you are. And be aware that if someone finds out you’ve been doing this AFTER a call, it could tank you chances at that company.

      1. Edward Cullen*

        That’s fair! I only did it because I needed to obtain a non-contact order after leaving an IPV situation. I don’t think I’ve ever actually listened to any of the recordings. I didn’t think an offhanded remark would get any attention, lol.

        1. Prefer my pets*

          Well, we fired someone for doing this without disclosing it. And that was a fed with permanent status…I’ve never seen the termination process move so quickly including in comparison to the guy who was in prison for beating his wife quite nearly to death. That you’re so casual about it is more than a little disconcerting.

          I’d certainly never work with, for, or hire anyone who did such a thing without disclosure.

  22. The Prettiest Curse*

    OP, if it makes you feel any better about the phone issue, at least you’re not the guy who recently got stuck on a mountain and kept declining calls from the mountain rescue people who were trying to locate him because they came from an unfamiliar number.

    1. ThursdaysGeek*

      I ignored a call from an unknown number and it turned out to be a co-worker of my spouse, letting me know they were taking my spouse to the hospital. I don’t ignore unknown numbers now. I do hesitate a second before saying ‘hi’, because that throws off the timing of the automatic spam callers. Sometimes.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        Several years of young kids + elderly parents and I pick up just in case.

        Friend described skipping a call from Tennessee because she knows no one from Tennessee… and it was son’s teacher, who lived in Tennessee when she got the phone.

      2. anonforthis*

        This is also why callers should leave voicemails if they know the person doesn’t have their number saved. I usually purposefully let unknown numbers go to voicemail, and immediately return the call after hearing the voicemail. It’s a small price to pay because I get so many spam calls it would be a waste of time to answer all of them. If I were expecting a call I might be less hesitant.

        1. Lissajous*

          This is how my mum deals with unknown numbers too.
          Only problem is, at least where I am (Australia), if it’s a hospital they don’t leave a voice mail. And we have had that from multiple hospitals and in multiple states, so that’s not a thing that’s going to change any time soon.

    2. LifeBeforeCorona*

      lol, I want to be rescued but I also don’t want to talk about my car warranty.

    3. NeutralJanet*

      I remember reading about the wife of an astronaut on the ISS who kept hanging up on him when he called home because there was a 3 second delay before he could start talking and she thought it was a spam call. She eventually got the ISS phone number added to her contacts so now her caller ID says SPACE when he calls.

    4. Pocket Mouse*

      They 100% needed to text instead of call though. Calling makes no sense when, with knowledge of the situation, you can expect the callee won’t (be able to) pick up… similar to this letter.

      1. The Prettiest Curse*

        Emergency services are probably required to call people in situations like this, for 2 reasons: 1. They are more likely to get the information that they need immediately if the person picks up and 2. Someone may be too injured to text, but still able to talk.
        There are many scenarios where it’s totally fine to be picky about only communicating by text. “I need to be rescued from a mountain right now” is not one of them.

        1. Pocket Mouse*

          Technologically, in a place with low cell service, a text is more likely to get through to the receiving phone than a call or voicemail, and uses much less battery. You are also more likely to be able to share your GPS location via text, which you can’t do on a call.

          I should have said “only calling” makes no sense- because it seriously doesn’t. Like this letter, if you legitimately need someone to reach someone on a call, it is not at all hard to send a written message that makes it manyfold times more likely to be able to do that.

          1. SMH*

            Are you a trained mountain rescue worker? If not, what makes you think you know better than those who put their own lives on the line to save others and do this regularly? Why do you think you know something that the experts in the field don’t here? And what makes you so unwarrantedly arrogant as to proclaim it to all and sundry.,

            1. Pocket Mouse*

              I mean… I’m a person who can send and receive texts but not hear or be heard on calls in low-service places, when the call isn’t dropped altogether. I’m a person who wouldn’t listen to voicemails from a spam risk call while trying to figure out how to get back to my car, but I do at least skim text messages I get. I’m also a person who has shared my exact location via my phone’s functionality but haven’t been able to get GPS into my brain and give coordinates verbally. Is your experience so different?

              Experts learn and update protocols all the time, but sometimes it takes an incident hitting the news or ending in tragedy before it happens. There’s a ProPublica article about half a family dying of carbon monoxide even though EMS visited the house several times over the course of hours at the request of a loved one who suspected they were unconscious. They didn’t receive an answer to their knocks so they left… but the front door was unlocked and, had they simply tried to open it, may have seen unconscious people then rather than dead people hours later. Putting their lives on the line or not, there’s usually something to be learned and improved; I’d say it’s arrogant to believe that *isn’t* the case.

    5. Nanani*

      If it’s the story I’m thinking of, the guy wasn’t lost or injured or anything.
      The rescue people were sent by an overzealous third party and the guy had zero reason to think anyone was trying to locate him. I’d ignore the calls on a hike too!

      1. EchoGirl*

        No, there was a case last year where the guy was legitimately lost (ended up spending the night in the woods before finding his way back the next day — thankfully he’d just gotten turned around a bit).

      2. Observer*

        No, the guy was legitimately lost, but he was able to find his way back to the his car eventually.

  23. Optimistic Prime*

    When I was job searching, the same thing happened to me. I had to turn off the option on my phone to send “spamy” calls straight to vm. Then after I got a job, I turned it back on.

  24. Minimal Pear*

    Adding onto the chorus of people saying this, but I don’t think that my phone has an option to add a “Potential Spam” call to a whitelist or even to my contacts! I think it just… blocks it no matter what. Admittedly I’m not a very techy person but I’ve never seen an option like that. I do still have the option to pick up a “Potential Spam” call, but I don’t think my phone would let me call them back if I’d missed it. (If I remember correctly, I tried one time when I thought it might be my doctor, and it didn’t work.)

  25. Middle of HR*

    Not going to jump on OP’s back for being a little less tech savvy than they could be. They learned a new thing, and acknowledged that.

    A manager who refuses to schedule more than a day in advance and expects that someone between jobs has nothing else to do well likely be annoying or horrible to work with.

    We all make mistakes, and in this case a minor mistake saved OP from what could’ve been a big one.

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      Exactly. A silver lining, or blessing in disguise as my moms used to say.
      Just like the candidate who comes in and is rude to people in the office thinking they don’t count, then discovers the boss is not impressed by this, the manager showed you how she feels about people that don’t jump when she calls.
      If you hadn’t been sick and had made the interview, you’d be going into the job thinking the stars aligned for you and you got the job! Meanwhile, she’d be convinced that of course you’d interview when she told you too and you were lucky to do it, and you better keep jumping if you want to stay.

  26. Not Tom, Just Petty*

    OP: Don’t spend another minute worrying that you acted rashly. It was a wise decision for you based on your experience. This person was not interested in YOU, she was interested in filling the position. You happened to be in line and she wants to fill a position. Bullet dodged.

  27. EchoGirl*

    I know this is a little off the main topic, but particularly given the timing, this immediately reminded me of a story from last year where a college football player got a call that said “spam likely”, but decided to answer it because it was a local number and he thought it might legitimately be someone in the area trying to reach him. It turned out it was his hometown team calling to tell him they were drafting him.

    Moral of the story: whatever method it is that phones use to determine a potential spam call, it sometimes casts a bit too wide a net. (Also, while I doubt that anyone hoping to be drafted this weekend is actually reading this (I wouldn’t think that demographic overlaps much), on the off chance that they are, consider this a heads-up that you might want to turn off spam blocking on your phone for the next few days.)

    1. Not A Real Manager*

      Yes! If you’re waiting on news, actively looking for work, or applying for other things, answer all the calls or regularly respond to your messages.

      Also remember to check your junk email folder! I got into my dream school off of the waiting list, but almost didn’t get to go because I found their email in junk after checking the folder on a whim one night.

      1. EchoGirl*

        Yeah, I don’t think it would’ve affected the draft choice any, it’s really just a funny story, and goes to show that the “what is spam” predictors can get things majorly wrong. (Also the “getting the call” moment itself is considered a big deal in the draft, so they’d probably be a little sorry to miss it even if there’s no real practical impact.)

  28. Pocket Mouse*

    While you could have whitelisted the number (understandably not a solution the would be top of mind while sick) I do think she was inconsiderate to not email you after multiple requests to email. If I were in her shoes, knowing there had been a spam risk issue before and receiving a request to email, I *might* call again to try to reach you, but if it went to voicemail I would immediately follow up via email to let you know that I had called and what my availability to speak on the phone looked like in the next few hours. At the very least, I would have you call me at a mutually agreed-upon time. It just seems like she was giving near-minimal effort to actually connect with you… which I’m sure is related to her attitude that, sans employment, you would be sitting by the phone twiddling your thumbs until you received her call.

    1. Martin Blackwood*

      +1 I also think the fact that this happened quickly over the course of only a few days (several of them sick) means there wasn’t a lot of “shower moments” where your mind drifts and then goes “huh, I bet someone else has had this problem before, maybe I should see if they posted online what they did” which can be useful for problem solving ime

      1. EventPlannerGal*

        I do not think it’s a great sign for a potential employee to require several days and a shower moment for “maybe I should Google it” to occur to them.

        1. Pocket Mouse*

          There are a large number of great employees doing amazing work who, after many years, do not realize they can search for a file name within a folder. In my experience, a person will typically face a frustrating situation several times over an extended period before trying to find a solution, and even then, Google isn’t always the route they choose (see: most of my older relatives). It seems this was the first time it had come up for LW (likely perceived as a one-off) and they were sick, so let’s give them some grace. I mentioned in a comment above that you can really only be frustrated with someone if you suggest a solution and they don’t take it. The hiring manager did not suggest the solution of changing phone settings to allow her calls. On the flip side, the LW thought of and suggested/requested a valid solution (emailing) to the problem they, together, were facing. The hiring manager offered up a potential solution (LW calling her) and considered it confirmed because she said so… but LW had not confirmed, and indeed not had a chance to confirm, so it was not a valid solution.

            1. Pocket Mouse*

              That’s… a harsh and unrealistic take. You really think that no matter the job, no matter the person’s skills or expertise, no matter what other systems they have set up for themselves, they must dive into Google the very first time a small issue comes up even if they’ve come up with a workaround for that situation? And if they don’t, they must not be a great employee after all?

              If there are people you consider great employees, I can almost guarantee sone of then also have small gaps in their knowledge or practices. If you were to see those gaps and conclude an employee wasn’t great after all (because they asked you where a file was saved!) that tells me more about you than about them.

  29. Six for the Truth*

    Commenting because it has been a problem more than once – there is some effort in tech to replace the terms “whitelist” and “blacklist” with “allowlist” and “blocklist” or “denylist,” respectively, for a handful of reasons.

    The association between “white” and “good and allowed” and “black” and “bad and forbidden” in these terms dates back to theater and performing arts practices for hundreds of years, in English. If we’re speaking about Red Scare blacklisting, the term should remain as-is.

    If we’re talking about a process to be done on a smartphone, router, or server, though, the words may need replaced for these reasons:

    1. These terms are often completely unknown and unintuitive to an international audience for whom English may not be a first language. Obscure English words increase the likelihood of confusion and mistakes.

    2. Younger people may not have heard these terms before, but they are extremely likely to use social media and be comfortable with the concepts of “allowing” and “blocking.”

    3. That association is just a little bit awkward to explain to a racially diverse audience in 2022, as a white person in tech.

    I have only seen reason 1) actually lose a company a large sum of money because someone thought they understood a command that they had misunderstood.

    1. Anon for this post*

      +1 I’m shocked that this was not commented on more. Its pretty widespread in tech that those terms are not used anymore, moving to allow and block.

  30. Veryanon*

    I don’t have any idea what “whitelist” means, but if it’s a call that I was expecting and wanted to receive, I’d probably add the number to my contacts to make sure it was getting through.

  31. Martin Blackwood*

    Slightly off topic, but I’m curious where the generational divide re: adding numbers to contacts is. People are saying they’d add the hiring managers number to their phone asap, but like, if I thought that there’d be a chance I would only have one, maybe two phone calls with someone, I wouldn’t put them in my contacts. I know its quick to add but so is *just recognizing the number*, and then I need to clear out my contacts a lot less. I don’t have spam protection on, admittedly, so have never had OPs problem. Related question: would you put the number you’re expecting a call from in your landlines phone book?

    1. M*

      I’m a slightly older millennial, and in a situation like this I wouldn’t add a contact like this to my phone just automatically. if their number was having problems getting through I would add it, but just upfront? no, I wouldn’t.

    2. kupo!*

      I rarely add phone numbers to my contacts, although my device allowed me to set up call screening– if you call me and aren’t in my contacts, it’ll play a message asking who’s calling and why. Since spam calls are almost never from real people, I find it really effective. And it seems to be smart enough to know that if I answered one call from a number, I’d want to actually answer those calls again.

      (Unrelatedly, seeing people with Magnus Archives usernames on here always makes me smile. “Dear Alison, my grand-boss is trying to start the apocalypse. Help?”)

    3. Just Another Starving Artist*

      I’m an elder millennial, and no one gets added to my contacts unless I know I’m going to be interacting with them frequently.

      1. Just Another Starving Artist*

        But also, I check my voicemail frequently, don’t get huffy when I get other people’s voicemail (unless their inbox is full), and don’t have a great deal of patience for people who get huffy when they get my voicemail. My phone is not surgically attached to my hand; if you’re calling me, there are multiple reasons I may not answer.

    4. talos*

      I’m Gen Z (born in 1999) and always add absolutely anyone to my contacts if I anticipate any future interaction with them whatsoever. That includes followup interviews, the number that sends me 2FA codes for my bank account, people I get added to random group chats with. Anyone except spam and wrong numbers. There are numbers in my phone from 8 years ago, some of whom are people I don’t know anymore; this is not a problem to me.

      Sure, I can recognize a few numbers…but there are dozens of people and entities that talk to me on my phone regularly. That’s too many.

      The landline comparison feels weird because those are mostly for outgoing, right? I mainly want to recognize incoming contacts.

      1. Martin Blackwood*

        I mean, now landlines are more for outgoing, but I suppose I worded my comment badly.
        Pre everyone having a cell phone, assuming your landlines was your main phone, would you add your contact at a company that you might only speak to once or twice, to the phones address book system? For some reason to me this feels more onerous than adding to a cell phone contact list, and I was wondering of people who add everyone they’re in contact with ever had this habit back then too.

    5. Jackalope*

      Gen X here and until this thread I never would have thought to add someone I was going to talk to once or twice to my contacts list. I only add people I am likely to want an ongoing relationship with.

    6. J*

      My brain immediately went there too. My Millennial/Gen Z-cusp brother has over 1000 contacts in his phone, I, an Oregon Trail millennial, have just over 100 and that feels excessive. (I do use group apps over texting with some friends so half of those are probably colleagues) I did take a note from my brother – he adds anyone from dating apps or jobs and for irregular contacts he saves them as “Hinge – Madi” or “Don’t Answer – Old Job” without much other context and honestly I kind of love it. I didn’t delete my old boss who I absolutely loathe because I don’t want to ever by accident answer the phone if he calls. So using my brothers labeling has been beneficial, especially as spam calls increase.

    7. Observer*

      I don’t have spam protection on, admittedly, so have never had OPs problem

      You probably do, now. Cell providers are beginning to provide some level of filtering, primarily because it’s being required by law.

      would you put the number you’re expecting a call from in your landlines phone book?

      In a situation like this? If my phone had spam filtering, and it had a phone book or block / allow lists, I most definitely would.

  32. NotYetFriday*

    I agree with the response, but I’ll be honest, I have a major pet peeve with people who solicit calls from unknown numbers and still want to screen calls indefinitely. Once you’re sending out a resume asking people to call you– presumably from unknown numbers–you’ve kind of forfeited the right to be overly cautious. I understand screening the initial call to voicemail, but once you’ve identified the number is not, in fact, spam, the responsibility for not missing the call is definitely on the person who is actively soliciting contact from strangers.
    Weirdly, I’ve been encountering this a lot at work from people who specifically requested something then get very defensive about accepting a return call from an “unknown number.” I keep wondering if this is a byproduct of some kind of societal aversion to phone calls. I used to think it was generational, but it seems to cross all demographics.

    1. desdemona*

      In OP’s case, I believe the spam filter on their phone is so strong that the phone doesn’t even ring – it sends the unknown number straight to voicemail. So this isn’t them screening their calls so much as the phone screening for them.

      1. Observer*

        True. But there are always ways around that. So once they knew that it was an issue, they should have dealt with it. Given that they were not feeling well, you really have to give them some slack. And in this case, it sounds like a bit of a bullet dodged anyway because this hiring manager was being a major league jerk anyway.

  33. voyager1*

    After her number came up spam, you should have gotten that resolved. Put her number in your phone and call your cell provider.

    Next you pretty much dictated the terms of how to communicate with you. For the hiring manager that was probably a red flag. They got the job, you want the job, don’t make it hard on them.

    Lastly, there is a good chance you were one of many candidates and you were the one that required the most effort on the manager’s part.

    Was she a bit rude to you? Yes. Were you making her jump through hoops she probably didn’t want to jump through, Yes. That second part about hoops is what tanked you.

  34. Just my 4 cents*

    Alison and anyone else who is still reading – let’s please stop using the word “whitelisting” I know it is an longstanding IT term – but it’s one that should be phased out. I wouldn’t have thought anything about this a few years ago, but have definitely been educated on the harm that terms like this can cause. There are many out there who would really appreciate if you would start using safe caller, safe sender, etc.

  35. Matron of Dishonour*

    I think both parties could have handled this way better.

    The hiring manager made rude and incorrect assumptions about the LW — if someone isn’t working they could have hundreds of potential demands on their time. Classes, social engagements, other interviews, dog sitting, medical appts, the list goes on. It’s super unkind to make such a comment to someone.

    The LW didn’t follow through on basic problem solving steps, to the point where I’d probably pass on their application if I were the hiring manager. If someone was accidentally blocking important calls, my first expectation would be that they’d add those contacts and enable them to fully ring through. Or, that they’d Google the issue and work through as many options as they could while also letting the recruiter know they’re having technical difficulties and need a different option to quickly get in touch while they sort things out on their end. Maybe text, if email is too asynchronous ?

    (FWIW I definitely played the “frantic Googling and calling Apple tech support and even ringing Verizon to resolve this exact problem” game last year when I was job-hunting, it’s stressful but very doable you’ve got this LW !)

  36. me*

    Is it expected that you’re going to pick up your phone every time someone calls when you aren’t expecting a call? When I used to make professional calls to clients for work, easily half the time, if not more, I’d get voicemail. Now, unless I specifically am expecting a call at a certain time, my phone is totally on silent.

    I get that if you’re job searching you’re more likely to be looking for calls from potential employers, but also, if OP is seeing that the hiring manager is leaving voicemails, I don’t really see how this situation is much different than a typical game of phone tag

  37. noname*

    You should change the settings on your phone so that possible spam callers don’t automatically go to voicemail while you are searching. You should also save potential job offer phone numbers in your contacts. If you can’t figure out how to do either of these, you are not suitable for a receptionist position.

  38. PlainJane*

    You should white-list if you can, yes, but honestly, if I were making a lot of calls to potential interviewees, I’d want to know if any of them were having a problem, so I could go to IT, see if it was anything out my end that was causing it (or if it was just the result of 100 calls a day), and if there was, to fix it. If it was just the sheer number of calls, I’d accept that it’s a quirk and use email to say “Please whitelist this number… we make so many calls here at Panem Potentates that Verizon sometimes thinks we’re spammers!” It is, at any rate, an inconvenience that comes from the company’s end, and given the fact that 95% of the numbers that call my phone are actually spam (I answer them if I’m free and it’s almost always something like a recording saying? “Hello…? (pause) This is Johanna, from the Lumberjack Benevolent Fund…” And everybody gets a lot of them, so at this point, if you’re being recorded as spam, a lot of people are going to ignore you. So I’d definitely want to know that, and maybe fix it by making interview calls from an internal number that isn’t used for whatever they’re spamming people with during the day.

    But it’s not relevant. The other red flags mean I don’t really care what happens to the company anyway. “I know you don’t have anything else to do,” my left foot. And as to, “Well, no one ELSE has complained about it”–yeah, probably because they don’t bother trying to respond with this kind of attitude.

Comments are closed.