Never try calling someone working for a company unless you know their full name. Chances that you are going to get through their receptionist are slim:
This I learned some weeks ago when I tried to get hold of a marketing manager of a Swedish company based in Shanghai. The receptionist told me “he” (that later turned out to be a she!) was out and that she didn’t know what time “he’d” be back.
I tried other people:
-Somebody else working with marketing?
-Some Swedish person working there?
-At a business trip. Would be back earliest in 2 months (!).
-In a meeting all day.
I soon realized it was useless. It didn’t matter who I asked for –even the cleaning lady was completely unavailable since I didn’t know her last name.
I had two other people calling trying the same thing before we all gave up and decided to call the head office in Sweden. Via them (because there, surprise, surprise, you can actually talk to people when you call!) we got the name of someone working in Beijing, and via the Beijing woman, we finally got the name of the marketing manager in Shanghai. Next time I called I got through straight away. And when I went for a meeting there one day later, I miraculously met several Swedes working away at their desks:
-Oh, recently got back from your trip?! I inquired.
-Trip? They said, looking at me as if I was from another planet.
In other words: don’t try calling someone working over here unless you know their name. The receptionists can be quite tough, working like a spam filter and only letting through those that are “inside enough” to know who’s doing what.