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Everyone Has Two Voice Settings: “Normal” And “Customer Service”

, , , , , | Healthy | January 25, 2021

When I need to find a new primary care physician, my sister, who’s a medical assistant, strongly recommends one of the doctors she works for. I accept — and she turns out to be the greatest PCP I’ve ever had, but I digress.

I don’t know if this is the law or their office’s policy, but my sister explains to me from the beginning that she’s not allowed to have anything to do with my treatment; she can’t look at my chart, she can’t room me when I come in, she can’t talk to me on the phone, etc.

Okay, rules are rules. I almost never have to call the office anyway — you call the network’s central line to make appointments, not the office directly — but I figure if she ever answers, I’ll simply say, “It’s [My Name],” and wait for her to put someone else on the line.

There comes a day where I call the office with some questions for my doctor about a course of treatment I recently began. A female voice I don’t recognize at all answers.

Assistant: “Thank you for calling [Office]. We’re on a recorded line. How may I help you?”

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name]. I saw [Doctor] earlier this week and just had some questions for her about [treatment].”

Assistant: “[My Name], it’s [Sister].”

Me: *Stunned* “Oh! I’m sorry, I—”

Assistant: “Here, let me get [Coworker].”

Another employee took care of me. For the record, the health issue was neither embarrassing nor something I hadn’t already told my sister about in typical family conversation.

When we hung up, I texted my sister, “I’m so sorry! I know you can’t help me, and had I known, I would’ve waited for you to get someone else, but I swear, I had no idea that was you! Your voice sounded so much deeper and more mature.”

When she was free, she simply texted back, “Customer service voice.”

And now I know what voice to listen for!

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