Thursday, October 13, 2005


Please, Hang Up the Phone

As many of you know, I am a switchboard operator at a local hospiddle. Well, I guess I'm not any more, I work in the call centre for Client Information and Registration Systems or something.

But really. I'm a switchboard operator.

And I would like to make a heartfelt plea, on behalf of myself and other operators: If you are stupid, please, just hang up the phone.

Do not call us.

If, however, your need to call us is overwhelming, please, just for me, remember a few things.

1. The switchboard is not the terminus of your call. You are calling, we are answering, and eventually you will get to speak to the person to whom you need to speak, if indeed that person or department exists within our facility. However, It Is Not Me. Therefore I do not need to know your name, the name of the city in which you live, the name of your cat, what the weather is like and the 800 things you did before calling me. It may be fascinating to you, but to me? Not so much. Just tell me who you need to talk to. I have calls backing up, dude.

2. I am not stupid. Neither are most of my COWorkers, although there are a couple who I would like to see holding those signs they hold up when you're driving through roadwork. You know, the ones that say "slow". (To the two of my COWorkers who read this blog, you know who I'm talking about and you also know full well that it's not you, so relax.)

3. Therefore, if you are asking about your auntie Peggy Smith, please rest assured that if we say she's not at our institution, we really are sure. We have checked for Smith, Smithe, Smythe, and likely also Smits. We also know that Peggy is short for Margaret and we have searched for Peggy, Maggie, Margaret and likely also for Meg. If we're having a really hysterical evening we may even have typed "Moo" into the system just in case. If we say she's not there, she isn't. Asking us to check again will just get us annoyed and will not make your auntie magically appear at our hospital. She is somewhere else. Deal with it.

4. Do NOT call back three minutes later to check again. Especially do not get someone else to call us from your phone to ask the same questions. We have call display and are not afraid to use it.

5. Do not swear at us. If your family is disorganized enough that you are misplacing family members right, left and centre, it is not our fault. Dealing with your call is not our primary function. If you swear at us we are allowed to hang up on you. If you think that you can call again after the swearing thingie, please refer to the note above about the call display feature.

And finally:

6. If it is national "Let The Assmonkeys Use the Telecommunication Devices", I would really appreciate some sort of advance warning. A memo, an email, a call; whatever. Just so I can call in sick or something.


A-freaking-men. I used to work PBX (same job, different title) at a hospital, and it was quite the experience. People are stoooopid, that's what I learned. Oy.
I am guessing that you have just experienced the same thing I (and my entire staff) experienced on 29 September when an agency with a name remarkably like ours was featured in the local paper (with pictures) on TWO FREAKING pages :ahem: and then was FREAKING CLOSED the day that that edition hit the curb.

The things we said when not actually ON the phone (a total of 12 minutes for me, starting at 6:37 --yes, a.m.--the entire day) would blister paint!

I'm just sayin'
Hah. Welcome to my world. Totally different industry, same exact complaints. Just tell me who the fuck you're calling for and then shut up so that I can summon their ass to the phone. We can solve your problem a whole lot faster if you don't spend fifteen minutes telling the (extremely irritable) receptionist your life story.
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