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No, seriously, I want you to try.

Not in some internal, meditation, get in touch with the “inner you” sort of way, but the way you actually SAY words out loud.

Many of us are in a job where we say the same thing day after day. Do you answer the phone at your office? Do you repeatedly tell a client the same thing? If so, you probably start to mumble that phrase.

This morning I called to make an appointment for my annual physical and when I got connected to a live person, I heard a muffled “thannufercullenthsssisteeshuuuh”.

I might have looked like a cartoon, eyes wide, pulling the phone away from my ear to make sure I had just dialed the right number. I know I did, because I heard their automated greeting. OK, um, yes, I’d like to refill a prescription and I think I need an appointment. “Mmmm, hmmmm, dayuhber?”

I know there was a question mark at the end because of the inflection…and I’m pretty gifted with punctuation (as you obviously noticed by the use of ellipses).

I’m pretty sure that what I deciphered was “Thank you for calling, this is Tisha” and apparently I guessed “dayuhber” correctly because when I gave her my date of birth, we moved onto the next step.

I get it. We can all fall into routines. But sometimes it’s easy to forget that while you have to say something 237 times during a day, each person you’re saying it to is a new person. That person is a client, a customer, a guest. They’re choosing to spend their money with you and they deserve attention, politeness and enunciation!

Think you’re falling into that routine? Have a friend or co-worker call you, record it, and play it back for you. Hardly anyone likes to hear their own voice, but it’s a good reality check. It can be a wake-up call…pun intended. Or I’d be happy to act as a ‘secret shopper’, I’ll be blunt and tell you who just not representing your company well at all. Hint: If I’m not at your place to shop for a facial tattoo, then your receptionist shouldn’t have a facial tattoo. I’m judgmental that way.


Pete Herrick is a radio personality, speaker, blogger and podcaster. He works with groups on leadership, culture, transition, efficiency, storytelling and branding. Find him on social media @peteherrick or at Now booking engagements, contact us for availability.