Not An Enjoyable Diversion

, , , | Working | September 8, 2017

(One of our field workers is on holiday for a week, and he’s diverted his calls to the office – something I discover at 8:02 on Monday morning when I receive three consecutive calls for him within five minutes about the same matter. It gets worse as the week progresses, but this little kicker occurs that made my head bang against the desk…)

Me: “Good morning, [Company]”

Caller: “Oh, I was trying to get a hold of [Field Worker]. I must have dialed the office by mistake.”

Me: “[Field Worker] is actually on leave this week. Can I—”

Caller: *click*

(The phone rings two seconds later, and it’s the same number.)

Me: “Good morning, [Company]”

Caller: “It’s doing it again!”

Me: *speaking quickly* “[Field Worker] is on leave this week and has diverted his phone to the office.” *pauses to take a breath*

Caller: *click*

(The phone rings two seconds later… He calls back another three times before giving up. I was never able to make him understand, or give him someone else’s number who was actually working that week.)

1 Thumbs
  • Rick C

    Answer for call #3: “Wait!”

    • Richard Hanck


      Same difference.


  • Difdi

    If I were the OP and it’s a business calling, I’d do a last call return and hope to talk to someone more sane. It’s obviously urgent, after all.

    • Rob Tonka

      HAHAHA! You think multiple calls equals an urgent issue? My experience has shown me that people always think whatever they have in front of them is urgent. Then when you tell them they have 5 things they’ve requested all as top priority and they need to prioritize…then they decide some of it is not really as important as they originally suggested.

      • Siirenias

        And the really urgent stuff, like equipment on fire, gets a single meek phone call.

        • RallyLock

          To be fair, “equipment on fire” would only get one phone call from me, too. Regardless of the answer I received on that phone call, I would be out the door the instant I hung up the phone… I’m not going to stand around trying to make multiple calls to report that sort of emergency.

      • Carrie C

        My husband has had that “top priority!” issue happen to him a few times at his work. People come, give him tasks to do, and tell him it’s “top priority” every single time. Eventually he goes to his boss and says “You gave me something that is Top Priority, Helen gave me something to do and said you said it was Top Priority. Marge wants me to work on the race results and says those are top priorities. What do you want me to work on first?”

      • Kathy Joy

        THIS. Just this. Everywhere I have ever worked, either with staff wanting me to do something or customers calling in, EVERYTHING is super urgent. And it all has to be done NOW. It’s like they all think they’re the centre of the universe. And the ones who keep calling and you tell them it’s a 3-5 day turn around and no that’s not good enough this is urgent it needs to be done NOW!!! And they still call every day asking for progress and shouting at you because it’s not done yet.

        • Moo

          When I’m out of the office for more than a day or two, I put an out of office message on my voicemail telling people when I’ll be back. I have had so many people call and leave me four or five voicemails while I’m out, “Why haven’t you called me back yet?” “This is urgent, I expect a call back tomorrow!” And then they e-mail me, because I’m not calling them back, which then prompts an out of office message telling them when I’ll be back. And I get another three or four e-mails asking when I plan on returning their messages, and why I’m ignoring them, and don’t I know how urgent their problem is?! (It’s literally *never* urgent enough that it can’t wait a couple of days, seriously, my job is just not that time-sensitive.)

          On top of all of that, my voicemail and e-mail will usually give them an alternate person to contact to have their “urgent matters” addressed. I’ll come back to all these messages, and a coworker who says that they didn’t call or e-mail her once.

          • Moo

            And that’s not to mention how many people asked me several times why I wasn’t responding to them when I was out on maternity leave (also noted in my voicemail, an out of office e-mail, AND an announcement made to the distribution list the week before I went out). Three months and they never tried contacting anyone else……just e-mailed me over and over again.

          • Kathy Joy

            ‘(It’s literally *never* urgent enough that it can’t wait a couple of days’ <—- this. So much this.

            It almost never is urgent.

            Actually speaking of maternity leave when I went on maternity leave, I handed over all my cases, and yet i almost got a complaint logged against me because I was ignoring a customer. It was only when they thought to speak to my manager to have him chastise me that they realised I had been on maternity leave. The customer had been claiming they spoke to me personally and that I had promised to call them back when really they had found my name on a letter they ignored a month before I went on leave and tried to make it my fault rather than theirs.

  • UrbanDweller64

    Could the OP not have called him back to tell him?

    • KashyaCharsi

      I wouldn’t even go out of my way to be listened to. If he doesn’t want to know, that’s his loss.

  • Denton Young

    “Clean out your ears, shaddup and stay on the line! Now, listen very carefully. [Field Worker] is ON LEAVE this week. Now, IF you stop acting like a deaf son-of-a-b****, I can give you the number of [Other Field Worker] who is actually in the field.”

    • Theanno Yingone

      Actual conversation: “Clean out your….. *click*”

  • Dani

    Calling the same number 5+ times in hopes it’ll work “this time” is just madness lol

  • Cynthia Simpson

    I’d get things like that when I worked in the hospital’s record section. I was one of a few civilians working with military, and when the military all went to commander’s call I would forward calls from the front desk to my phone. When the ward clerks would call our department to have charts pulled they’d get me instead of the front desk, and it seemed to trip their circuits. The thing that frosted me was hearing “I need a chart pulled. When will they be back?” as though I didn’t know how to pull charts. Everyone in our department could pull charts, whether they usually worked with them or not.

  • Holly

    I don’t know why it’s NAW, though.

  • kelemvor

    I have colleagues who leave their mobile phones on their desks when they go to meetings. I’d throw them out of windows, but the only sections that open are about three metres up.