I've spent a lot of time on both sides of the fence - peon and super-peon. I can't say I care for the peon side of things. At least the super-peon (management) side of things has a few perks. Nonetheless, regardless of the station, I've always tried to maintain professional courtesy, both in person and on the phone. I nearly always remember people's names, and once I've learned them, I use people's names to address them. I always inquire after their well-being, and attempt to make them laugh. Humor is merely an addition, not a requirement. It is just polite - not to mention can solve a number of ills - to inquire after someone. This is incredibly valuable in phone exchanges, especially with people you will rarely see but frequently talk to. It is easy to say "no" to someone on the phone, or to be less helpful, than if they made their request in front of you. So in order to obtain the highest efficiency on the phone, it is vital to create a level of comfort and familiarity with the person on the opposite end. I'm amazed at the number of super-peons who are not aware of this. And irritated by them.