Wednesday, June 20, 2012

More Tales From The Switchboard

Time for more tales from the Switchboard.
First, keep in mind that I don’t know HOW many phone numbers come in to me, but I can field calls from 12 locations in 4 states.
I love it when I have a call that comes in that shows it’s been in the call queue for a minute or so already. Normally, after getting through our short menus, it takes 12 seconds to get to me.
Me: Thank you for calling My Company, how may I direct your call?
Caller: I’ve been trying to get a hold of Person in Virginia, but they’re not answering. Can you see if they’re in their office?
Most of the time, they’re cool when I say that I’m not able to do that. I have had one or two people start to argue with me, asking if I’ve even seen them walk by the front desk, or demanding that I go check. At that point, I put on my friendliest voice, making sure not to cross the line into sarcasm and snark, because it really is a fine line. In that voice, I ask them if they realize where I’m located, and that if I have to check the office, they’re going to be on hold for a long time, and I will charge them mileage. At that point, the realization hits, and they become understanding and are willing to leave a voice mail.
And mentioning voice mail, do you know how often I’ll get one of those calls from people who don’t understand voice mail?
Me: Thank you for calling My Company, how may I direct your call?
Caller: I tried getting in contact with *INSERT NAME HERE* but all I can get is their voice mail. Can you take a message for me?
At this point, all I can tell them is that I am not, but I am more than happy to send them back to the voice mail, and they can leave a message there. Most of the time, this pacifies them, and the times that it doesn’t, well, what else can I do?
And all this time, all that goes through my head is that at least I don’t have people asking me what time the Three O’Clock Parade is.
See you tomorrow,

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