Here’s a telephone conversation between a P.A. (personal assistant) and a very irate customer. If the conversation seems slightly odd, then that’s because I made it up so I could include as many phrasal verbs as possible. I’ve written the meanings of some of the phrasal verbs at the bottom to allow the conversation to flow better.
P.A.: “Hello, Magnificent Magnets Ltd. You are (1) speaking to Angela. How can I help you?”
Irate customer: “Can you (2) put me through to Mr Hunt, please?” (in an angry tone)
P.A.: “May I ask what it is about err Mr ….?”
Irate customer: “Err Preston, listen here, I’ve been trying to (3) get through to him on his mobile for the last few days. I’ve left both voice and text messages but he hasn’t (4) rung me back and it’s bloody urgent (return the call)
P.A.: “I’m terribly sorry about that Mr Preston. Mr Hunt was on holiday last week and his mobile phone was (5) switched off. Please, (6) hold on one moment, I’ll just …………”
Irate customer (7) butts in: “Don’t you dare put me on hold, just (8) put Mr Hunt on the phone and sharpish.”
P.A.: “Mr Preston, please (9) calm down, I just wanted to check if he is available to (10) talk to you. According to his schedule a meeting has been (11) pencilled in for now, but I don’t honestly know if the meeting is taking place or not. Please (12) bear with me, Mr Preston
Irate customer: “Well, he’d better (13) pick up the phone, that’s all I can say”
P.A.: “Mr Preston, I’m afraid he’s indeed not answering so he must be in the meeting. I’ll personally (14) see to it that he gets your message to (15) get back to you a.s.a.p. Thank you for calling Mr Preston.”
Irate customer: “No way, you’re not going to (16) get rid of me that easily. Have you tried his mobile?”
P.A.: “With all due respect, Mr Preston, I’m sure you know him well enough by now. He always has his mobile off in meetings. Mr Preston, as soon as you (17) ring off I’ll (18) pop over to his office and leave a note on his desk. That’s the best I can do right now.”
Irate customer: “Bloody hell, I’m (19) heading out of the office in a few minutes. He’ll have to call me on my mobile. Here’s my number, (20) jot it down, please. 0152 7964890.
P.A.: “I’ll just (21) read that by you again 0152 7 err…”
Irate customer: ”I’ve gotta go.” He (22) rings off.
P.A.: “Mr Preston, Mr Preston, are you there, Mr Preston ……. . The f**ker’s (23) hung up on me.
(1) to speak to sb.
(2) to put sb through to sb = to connect a caller to the person they want to speak to.
(3) to get through to sb = to manage to talk to sb on the phone
(4) to ring (call / phone) sb back
(5) to switch sth off
(6) to hold on = to wait until the they can talk to the person they want to
(7) to butt in = to interrupt
(8) to put sb on the phone = to give sb the telephone so that they can speak to the person who is on it
(9) to calm down
(10) to talk to sb
(11) to pencil sb/sth in = to write down sb’s name or details of an arrangement with them that you know might have to be changed later.
(12) to bear with sb = to be patient with sb/sth
(13) to pick up the phone / receiver
(14) to see to sth = to deal with sth
(15) to get back to sb = to talk to sb, usually to give them information that you weren’t able to give them before
(16) to get rid of sb = to make yourself free of sth/sb that is annoying you or that you don’t want
(17) to ring off = to end the phone call by replacing the receiver.
(18) to pop over = to quickly go somewhere
(19) to head out = to leave a place to go somewhere
(20) to jot sth down = to write down quickly
(21) to read sth by sb again = to repeat sth back to sb
(22) to hung up on sb = to end a phone call by replacing the receiver usually suddenly.
irate (wütend), slightly odd (etwas kommisch), to make sth up (sich etw asu den Fingern saugen), “Don’t you dare” (Untersteh Dich), to put sb on hold (jdn in der Warteschleife), sharpish (schnell), according to (nach), to take place (stattfinden), “he’d better” (hier: Es wäre besser, wenn er ), with all due respect (mit allem Respekt), “bloody hell” (Verdammte Scheiße), ”I’ve gotta go.” (Ich muss los)