If I had the ability to chain co-workers to their desks thus preventing them from ever leaving during business hours and ensuring I never have to deal with their phone calls I would do so. But according to little things like HR regulations and the Geneva Convention I can’t do that. So occasionally when a co-worker is away from their desk one of their calls will get forwarded to me, and they pretty much all follow the same script.
Me: Good afternoon, how can I help you?
Them: (in an obnoxious tone) You aren’t the one I spoke to.
Me: Excuse me?
Them: I talked to the other one in your office. Where is she?
Note: I work in an office with roughly 180 people, about 90 percent of whom are female.
Me: Do you remember the name of the person you were speaking with?
Them: We were talking about my trip. She’s someone’s assistant over there.
Me: We have three assistants in addition to myself, A, B, and C.
Them: I think it was C.
Me: Well she has stepped away from her desk can I take a message and I will have her call you as soon as she gets back?
Them: Where is she?
Note: While I have sometimes thought I have some sort of sixth sense a Spiderman like ability to know where my co-workers are at all times isn’t part of it.
Me: I am not sure. She seems to have just stepped away.
Them: Well I guess I will have to leave a message then, won’t I?
Note: It is at about this point in the conversation where I want to switch into the sarcastic tone of voice that is not work appropriate but which peppers this blog.
Me: If I could just get your name and the number at which you can be reached…
Note: The conversation can either go one of two ways:
1. The caller mumbles some incoherent name and number with such an attitude that I am afraid to ask how to spell it or for them to repeat it.
2. They tell me my co-worker has the number and hang up on me, no indication of who they were or why they called.
Normally I have no problem handling other co-workers issues and being a team player, but after conversations like that I can’t help but wonder…
Isn’t this why we have voicemail?
~The Office Scribe
Cleanin' out my closet
6 months ago