Re-Using Phone Numbers at the Office

I’ve been with my current client for just over a year and I still get calls for the previous occupant from vendors, credit card companies, etc. I know that calling is how they figure out the person has moved on, but I get tired of the calls. It goes something like this:

Them: Is this Mr Blah?

Me: No, he is no longer at this number?

Them: Ok, thank you. Or, are you the new Whatever Person? Or, who should I talk to about blah?

Me: I have no idea, I’m just a contractor using the office.

Of course, I could send to voicemail, but I still have to listen to it later. Or I can let someone screen my calls, which I should do but don’t.

What I wish is that numbers were assigned to people. Person X leaves the company,someone in HR can put a message in saying that,and for key roles perhaps indicate the number of the assistant of the person who now has that role. Then in 24 or 36 months release the number for assignment. Why doesn’t this happen already? We’re still locked in that land line hard wired mentality.

Related to that, I don’t give anyone that I deal with personally the work number of a client or employer. They get my cell phone, because that goes to me, where ever I am – the number is me.