Thursday, October 02, 2008

Receptionist Sandy

I wanted to relay a conversation I had the other day with a receptionist. Okay, I am going to exaggerate the phone conversation a little bit, but only a very little bit. It was nearly this bizarre. I called a friend of mine, and I wanted her to call me back. All I was looking for was the receptionist to get my name and phone number. That's it. Over the years, I have learned that just getting those two pieces of information correct can be considered a minor miracle. Anyway, here is the conversation, as I remember it:

Receptionist/Sandy: Good morning, ABC Incorporated. Sandy speaking. How may I delight you today?

Leesa: I would like to speak with Barbara. Is she available?

Sandy: I am sorry. Barbara is on another line. Can I take a message?

Leesa: Actually, can you forward me to her voice mail?

Sandy: I am sorry. We no longer have voicemail at ABC Incorporated. Your phone calls are important to us, and we want to give them personalized attention. May I take a message, Leesa?

Leesa: Sure. Please have her call Leesa at 912-555-1212.

Sandy: I am going to read the message to ensure I have this correct.

What Leesa is thinking: Sandy is delightful. She took time to tell me in a delightful way that the company no long has voicemail. She also got my name right and wants to ensure she got the message right. So far, I love this (other than the fact I can't go directly to voicemail, something which should be a God-given right. Or at least something we should expect in the United States.

Sandy pauses, and then the following ensues.

Sandy: "Leesa, a disgruntled customer, is calling to speak with Barbara X. She needs immediate attention and satisfaction and can be reached at 512-555-1212." How is that, Leesa?

Leesa: Sandy, I am not disgruntled. I am not upset. I just want Barbara to give me a call.

Sandy: Oh. I thought since you called, you were disgruntled. Most people who call this office need us to fix something, so I wanted to add something to give your message special attention.

Leesa: Oh, and you got my area code wrong as well.

Sandy: Well, excuse me. I am trying to give your message attention, and I have already written it down on my note pad. Tell you what I am going to do. (I hear the tearing of paper in the background.) I am going to leave three messages from you to Barbara. That way she will call you back.

Leesa: One message is sufficient. But please correct the area code. It is 912, not 512.

Sandy: Well, Leesa, our work is monitored, and because I want to delight you, I have spent more time than I normally would on the call.

Leesa: Can you read the message again?

Sandy: "Leesa, a pleased customer, is calling to speak with Barbara X. She needs immediate attention and satisfaction and can be reached at 512-555-1212." How is that, Leesa?

Leesa: Sandy, I don't want to nit-pick, but my area code is 912, not 512.

Sandy: What zip code is 512, anyway?

Leesa: I am sure I don't know. But can you please change the area code.

The phone call went downhill after that. Sandy did not delight me, and Barbara did not call. I fully expect Sandy to be promoted to a spot where she cannot mangle telephone numbers and piss off customers (I was a friend, not a customer of Barbara). And I have a feeling that was Sandy's plan all along. At least she delighted herself on that day.


Ian Lidster said...

That was one of the funniest things I've ever read. I think I love you.

Leesa said...

ian: funny, but nearly 100% true. I could not believe it.

Deb said...

'Tis a sad sad day indeed.

~Just Me~ said...

Omg sadly it seems the way the world is going. Our city just hit a million this year, and now we have to dial the area code first, its so frustrating.


(M)ary said...

are you kidding me????

at work we are supposed to say;"how may i give you excellent customer service?"

"how may i delight you?" sounds like something you would hear at a brothel.

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