ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

If Being a Successful Receptionist is in Your Plans, Read This Hub

Updated on October 17, 2014



I am the last one to give out advice and point to places where employees need correction. I am just an average guy, maybe a potential customer of your company and a guy who knows how things should be run. Not to imply nor leave a “bad taste in your mouth,” by what I am going to say, it’s just that things are differently as seen from an outsider than it does from the inside. This one fact may be “the” key to a successful career or “sent packing.”

The only reason I am mentioning (and hopefully helping) female receptionists is the mere fact that most of us, men and women, automatically-associate a woman being the front desk receptionist for a number of reasons and all of them respectful. This is not to slam male receptionists, for they have their place as well. But the things I mention in this story are for both genders to learn from and set themselves in a forward direction and be able to be the very best receptionist that their company ever hired.

Ellie Kemper, "Erin," of The Office


This is not a loafty-goal, but very reachable. If the fresh-from-college receptionist-trainees will pay attention and do things to remember my advice for the time will come in the future that you, the eager women and men, may have to fall back on your “ace in the hole”: This advice, that will enable you to be more confident, more sure of yourself and easier for you to “get into the flow” of being “the” first person a client, new or old, will see upon entering the company’s lobby.

Being a receptionist is actually a strong power found in a simple position. A power that is not for you to abuse, but take very seriously. Just think. All it would take for your company to land (or sadly, lose) a new client worth millions is just one misspoken word or phrase, one inappropriate look, remark, or one moment of bad attitude shown by you, the front desk receptionst. Something to think about, huh?

More receptionists at work

I wager that you never considered the job of a receptionist to be that important, did you? Well it is. Very important. And you should remember this each day that you head to work. “You” are probably “the” one whom coordinates work and handles calls for everyone in management, Human Resources and in some cases, the sales department. People will respect you if you are professional from head to toe.

And as you train for being a receptionist, please remember . . .

These Are Things That You Do Not Say---

  • “Well, don’t just gaze at me. What do you want?”—to a new customer. You sound like a bouncer in a sleazy bar. Even slezy bars have more-pleasant receptionists than you.
  • “Gordon, Wilby, Dock and Turk, how may I help you? What? Can you hold a minute? My girlfriend who is a shopaholic is trying to lure me into some shopping at lunch—hey, we might even “ditch” this afternoon!”—to anyone on the phone. This greeting tells the customer a lot of things. You are irresponsible, lazy, lack attention, and couldn’t care less about your job.
  • “Well, can you move faster? I do not have all the time in the world!”—to an elderly person. These seniors have money to spend with your company. Greet them with respect and honor.
  • “Hey, are you lost? This is not the senior citizen center!”—also to senior citizens who come through your door. Just what if they did make a mistake? And their son, their grandson, was YOUR boss?
  • “You want to see whom? Well, tough luck. He is out for a day or two. Oh, an appointment. That makes a difference. Hold it a minute while I buzz him. (YOU HIT THE PAGE TO HIS PHONE) Oh, I was wrong. He is out for the entire week. Haw, haw. He even said before he left that you were so gullible, I could tell you anything.”—to a new customer who is close friends with Your boss.
  • “Johnny Blade’s Porn Shop . . .just kidding. Oh, ‘Mr. Busby, the CEO, uhh, well, I was just kidding.” *Note: Yes, people in the Unemployment Office will soon be laughing themselves to death with your sharp sense of humor.
  • “Don’t you tell me how to be a receptionst! I did this tacky job for 12 years in L.A.!”—to Your Trainer.
  • “Wooo-eeee, can ya’ break me off a piece of that?”—to a male employee. Odds are, he is not a “player” and a happily-married man who loathes women who make cheap remarks like this.

Even more receptionists making money and having fun

These Are Things That You Do Not Do---

  • Come to work only wearing your pants/slacks and shoes.
  • Shop up at your desk with food spills all over your clothes.
  • Make it to work with a massive hangover.
  • Take long naps when there are no bosses around. *Note: today’s offices have security cameras, so keep that in mind.
  • If you are a woman in a skirt, do not place your feet on your desk and if you are a man, do not slip your pants off then place your feet on your desk. *Note: both are termination offenses.
  • Look like and talk like a circus clown who has “lost it.”
  • Jump all around the lobby furniture acting like a hungry hyena.
  • Get angry quickly if customers will not bribe you into allowing them to see your boss.
  • Play “Lobby Rodeo” with other receptionists who take turns riding the lazy salespersons who are just putting in their time to get a paycheck.
  • Draw a bullseye with your lipstick on the front door and see how many times you can hit the center with your box of pens—some have sharp points. So what if you hit a customer? He will have a rough time proving that you did this insensitive act.

Coming soon: “Having Some Big Fun at The State Fair”

Hey, girls and guys who dream of being a good receptioinist: Watch this video.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Oct. 25, 12:50 a.m., cdst

      Dear JamaGenee,

      Well, in light of your honest confession, you are forgiven. How could I ever be upset with a charming lady like you?

      And that is serious if I may be so bold.

      Laundry? Shopping? Please?! Honest? I guess that I can zap-up a moment or two of reality, but I do love to dream and your photo reminds of those beautiful ladies (not that you are not beautiful), in those vintage private eye movies with Bogey as the private eye who trails this upper class socialite's cheating hubby and so on.

      And me? I know that I would be right at home in a Charlie Chan movie, but not as Number One son, but as Chan.

      He was the coolest P. I. to me even more than Magnum.

      I do hope that you will not be put-off at my rather bold comments, but I write and speak from the heart. I am not a liar or hypocrite.

      Weather? Warm and perfect here.

      And I envy you for living in Oklahoma. Your state is loaded with history and folklore--from bandits of the Old West to Woody Gutherie, America's folksinger.

      Do not say snow. My fibromyalgia and neurothopy cannot deal with that severe of a cold, but I love to see it falling.

      I wish for YOU a safe and happy weekend and do write when you can. I do not want to be a burden to you.

      Your Friend for Life, JamaGenee,


    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Kenneth, it pains me to have to tell you "where I got off to" was other people's hubs. To add "insult" to "injury", Jezebel that I am, I even stayed long enough to leave comments on most of them. For shame, for shame!

      Oh, and in the midst of my blatant display of "disloyalty", I also took time out to take care of some Real Life issues, like laundry and shopping and reading a couple of mystery novels from the public library. But thanks for the concern.

      As for staying warm, our northern hubbers will cringe when I say staying warm in Central Oklahoma is not a problem at the moment. This year is the longest I've ever gone in the fall without flipping the heat on. In fact, by around 4 or 5 in the afternoon, the A/C comes on for 20 minutes or so. I'm thinking of framing this month's utility bills since they'll look more like the receipt for a couple of Big Macs...or maybe I'll send copies to all my Up North friends who've been wearing coats since mid-September who wonder why I don't move back to be near them. Uh...I hate cold climes, remember? Uh..that's why I moved south, remember? Not far enough that locals don't know what a snow shovel's for, but far enough that the days one needs one are few and far between. {-;

      I'm guessing it's still warm in your neck of the woods, too. ???

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      LOL! Sweet JamaGenee,

      I love this comment. I am totally-serious. You handled the situation with class and dignity. Your poor girl having to live within the confines of an "Uppity Prison."

      I wonder if anyone really liked this person, including her hubby.

      Nice song too. Thank you sweet friend, for the sharing.

      I had wondered where you had gotten off to.

      Stay warm and keep in touch with me.


    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Kenneth, for the "Things You Do Not Say" section, you must've hung around an office I once worked at (a non-profit, not a business). We had to put up with Miss Nasty Attitude because her grandfather was a big-time contributor. NO ONE on staff was allowed to touch her desk, or even get within 3 feet of it, so minutes after she left for good (to get married - poor guy), we had quite the celebration. One guy she'd been particularly hateful to even jumped up on her desk and did a Snoopy Dance while yelling "The witch is gone, the witch is gone! Hurray, the witch is gone!". ;D

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      I LOVED the term, "catted." But when people today pop gum in my face, I am old enough to humbly ask, "would you please wait until I leave to do that?"

      And if they give a "deer in the headlights" look, I leave.

      Thanks again, sheila "catted" myers.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

      I mean that too.

      Your Friend for Life,


    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      carrie Lee Night,

      I appreciate your comment as well as your warm friendship and following.

      Words cannot express to you or any of my followers just how much I appreciate you.


    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you so much. I am glad you came by.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      4 years ago from Hawaii

      Another great hub to brighten up my day!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      kennerh: LOL @ "catted". That was a typo and should've been "chatted". I also hate when they or anyone else who are supposed to be professionals pop their gum while talking to me.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      4 years ago from Jamaica

      funny, great hub.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      4 years ago from Northeast United States

      Funny :) I like the answering of the phone with the porn shop....yup they will never work there again. Thank you for sharing.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear sheilamyers,

      Thanks so much, dear friend, for your nice comment. Only you could devise a term like "catted," on HP. I love it and you are right. I have encountered these special receptionists even while I was at work years ago. And ME working at the place, for goodness sake.

      One gum-popping (not anything against gum) Bimbette, asked, "And you are?" After I had introduced myself, you know what? Rekindling this annoying memory irritates me . . .so I love how you commented.

      And I was toying with the idea of publishing Part II of this, but now I feel like I have made my point.

      A pleasant evening to you, sheila.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Eric,

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And to all in Spring Valley, CA, I bid you a very pleasant evening, uhhh, I want to thank, uhhh, said I wasn't going to cry, uhhh, David, stop that! Ericdierker, the driving force behind my smidgen of success on HP, and his constant advice on how to improve .. . . .take a bow, Eric! And my friends, more than followers, who have just said in their own way, "That Ken, no writer like him anywhere," Thanks, Ron Howard! Uhh, sniff, sniff, hand me the handkerchief, uhhh, yeah, I intend on doing some filming in Eric's hometown, and uhhh, oh, need to to go to a commercial? Okay. Uhh, thanks! Eric, I mean it.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      ROFL! I never worked with or met any receptionists who came close to doing or saying any of these, but I have run into receptionists at places I've gone who said rude things or ignored me while they catted on the phone or were doing non-business related things on the computer. Do I really have to tell you I've taken my business elsewhere?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very funny indeed.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)