Monday, January 10, 2011

Flashback: Receptionist

My first job out of college was a receptionist position.  The job wasn't difficult, but I greatly overestimated the sanity of the people calling into the office.  I had to answer all incoming calls and then transfer them to the appropriate person using a switchboard.  The phone was pretty busy all day, so I got really annoyed when some lunatic would keep me on the phone longer than necessary with their insane ramblings.  Below are some examples of shit I had to deal with:

1) The Terrifying Father

Me: How may I direct your call?
TF: Yeah, I need to make an appointment for my son with Christian Psychotherapy.

Ok so, I definitely didn't work at a place that was associated with whatever "Christian Psychotherapy" is, and I have no idea how that guy got the office number.  I felt really bad for his son, though.  That sounds like the most horrible thing in the world.  I mean, I kept picturing this poor little kid sitting in a room like they show on tv when police try to make criminals confess.  I imagined some "therapist" shouting things at the kid like, "EAT YOUR VEGETABLES OR JESUS WILL KILL YOUR DOG!!!!!"

2) The Overreactor

Me: How may I direct your call?
TO: Sarah
Me: One moment (transfers call)

**one minute later**

Me: How may I direct your call?
TO: You just transferred me to Sarah and her voicemail picked up!  It wasn't her!!!
Me: I'm sorry.  She must be away from her desk.  Let me see if I can get someone else for you.
TO: If you transfer me to another voicemail,  I will report you to the police!  I will call the police right now!

Yikes.  Seriously, what I wanted to do was tell him to go ahead and try to report me and see what happened.  I also wanted to keep transferring him to Sarah's voicemail and then convince him that it wasn't her voicemail; that's just how Sarah answers the phone.

3) The EXTREME Overreactor

Me: How may I direct your call?
TEO: I need to talk to Derek RIGHT AWAY.
Me: Ok, one moment (dials extension, hears that Derek's voicemail immediately picks up) I'm sorry, he seems to be out of the office.  Would you like to leave him a voicemail?
TEO: Oh holy shit!  What is wrong with you people?!
Me: ... um ...
TEO: Does no one work around there?  What the hell is going on???
Me: Or ... um ... I could transfer you to his cell phone ...
TEO:  Don't bother 'cause I just know he won't pick up!  JESUS CHRIST!!!  What are you trying to do to me?  Do you treat everyone like this?!
Me: I'm sorry, I just -
TEO: You know what I think?  I think people like YOU are directly responsible for everything that happened on 9/11!!!! (hangs up)

That is not an exaggeration.  The man actually accused me of being some sort of terrorist.  I realize now he was probably insane, but at the time all I could do was sit there in shock.  I wonder what happens when someone is actually rude to that guy.  He probably just shoots them on the spot.

So I guess the lesson here is: If you are ever a receptionist, you better make sure everyone stays at their desks 24/7 ... or, just smuggle alcohol in to help ease the pain of the calls.

Just kidding, I never did that.

No seriously, I didn't.

I swear!

1 comment:

  1. I can confirm the 9/11 "you're a terrorist" guy. I was there and witnessed it. Turns out, he doesn't "work with women"....good luck my friend!!