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Receptionist Ruminations




Few things are as invigorating as being tethered to a desk for 9.5 hours. Being a receptionist for a company whose phone is constantly ringing can be a stressful, frustrating job, no matter how much it pays. It's one of those professions where you find yourself wondering why things can't be just a little more streamlined...

For some reason, customers often called in to my prior place of employment expecting the first person they spoke to to be some all-knowing genie who could solve all their problems. They expected me to know every corner of the city, accept their credit card payments, defuse their tantrums, and deliver the CEO on a silver platter to them on a daily basis. Receptionists don't do that. We are liaisons, messengers, helpers, and greeters, but we are NOT genies. So next time you call a company's front desk person, please, please, please don't rub that friggin lamp.

One of the most memorable phone calls I received while on the job happened to be from a lady who wanted what she wanted when she wanted it. Typical. However, the other phone lines were ringing, so, no dice.

Me: "Hello, company name, please hold..."

Lady: "I need to speak with blah."

Me: "I'm sorry, can you please hold? I have another call."

Lady: "I need -- "

Me: "Please hold." *click*

(I picked up and put her on hold a second time. Oops.)


Needless to say, Little Miss Impatient wasn't feeling the interruptions to her request.

Lady: "How DARE you put me on hold! You have no idea who I am... I need to speak to your manager."

I sent the call to my coworker. What? The customer didn't have to know that she wasn't speaking to my boss. Ignorance is bliss. Especially when it comes to customer service...



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