Re: He should be proud that of that guy
"I'd had in my head that I'd seen this from time to time, in reception areas of large companies, but couldn't have quoted where. Or even when."
I often visit clients who have unmanned reception. You walk in off the street, find the phone on the wall and call the extension of the department/office you need from the list on the wall by the phone. I've never actually considered, let alone tried, dialling 9 + number to see if I can get an outside line.
I would assume I'm on CCTV while there anyway.