Extensive Laziness

, , , , | Working | June 14, 2021

I’ve been working on getting a permit to build an extension on my house; such permits are required where I live. Most government services in the area are run out of the county courthouse. If you don’t know the phone extension for a specific office or employee, you call the courthouse’s main number and the receptionist transfers you to the right person.

I have a question about one of the forms I have to submit to the county zoning office, but I don’t know their direct number, so I call the courthouse’s main number. The receptionist answers, I explain what I need, and she agrees to transfer me. I’m on hold for a few minutes when the next person picks up.

Employee: “Hello, this is [Employee] in Licensing. How can I help you today?”

Me: “I have a question about [form].”

Employee: “I’m sorry, could you say that again?”

Me: “I have a question about [form]. I’m looking for a permit to build an addition on my house, and I have to submit [form] to be approved.”

Employee: “This is the licensing office. We don’t have anything to do with zoning or building permits.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. Your receptionist transferred me to this extension.”

Employee: *Under his breath* “God d*** that stupid woman!” *More clearly, to me* “I understand. The courthouse recently hired a new receptionist. She’s been transferring calls to random extensions all week because she’s too lazy to actually learn which department deals with each issue. Do you have a pen and paper ready? I can’t transfer you directly to the zoning office, but I can give you their direct number instead of making you deal with our receptionist again.”

Me: “That would be great. I’m ready for the number.”

Employee: “The zoning office is [phone number]. Since you’re here, is there anything you need help with as far as licensing is concerned?”

Me: “Nope, nothing. Thanks for helping!”

Employee: “You’re welcome! Have a great day, and good luck with your addition!” *Under his breath, as he’s hanging up* “And now to yell…” *Click*

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A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 11

, , , , , | Working | May 28, 2021

My husband got home two weeks ago from spending two months in the hospital. We gave the hospital and doctor’s office our home phone number instead of his cell phone. He has a dozen follow-up appointments scheduled with many different departments, not to mention four different departments of in-home nurses calling and coming all throughout the week. Our phone is ringing off the hook. To let him rest as much as possible, I handle all the calls and scheduling of appointments.

He receives this call on his cell phone, which is listed as the non-primary number.

Husband: “Hello?”

The lady speaks without any introduction or greeting or anything.

Lady: “You want to cancel your appointment?”

Husband: “What?”

Lady: “You want to cancel your appointment?”

Husband: “Who is calling? Which appointment?”

Lady: “This is [Doctor]’s office.”

He gets me on the phone and she repeats which office she’s calling from. Unfortunately, my husband has eight new doctors that want follow-ups, and in the chaos, I didn’t grab my notes. It takes five minutes of me asking what department this doctor is in and me guessing upcoming appointments I have memorized for her to answer.

Lady: “I am with [department]. So, you want to cancel tomorrow’s appointment?”

Me: “No! We need this appointment! Why would we want to cancel?”

Lady: “We received a voicemail from you.”

It finally clicks. Two weeks ago, when my husband was first released, I called this office to MOVE the appointment. I left a detailed message repeating that, if possible, we wanted to move it one day, when we’ll be coming back to that same building for another appointment. I left my name and my number. 

Me: “No. I left a message two weeks ago. After not getting a call back, I called again. This is already resolved.”

Lady: “You want to cancel?”

Me: “No! We wanted to move it to Wednesday because we’ll already be in [building] that day, but the doctor isn’t there Wednesday.”

Lady: “We could move it to Thursday.”

Me: “That doesn’t help because we’ll be there on Wednesday. We’ll keep this appointment.”

Lady: “What about next week?”

Around and around and around we went for five more minutes until I could convince her that this was already resolved. And for those wondering, my husband is doing great!

Related:
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 10
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 9
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 8
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 7
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 6

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The Art Of Charming Your Coworkers

, , , , , , | Working | May 11, 2021

On my way into work, I stop at reception to show a friend a drawing I did over the weekend that is saved on my phone.

Receptionist: “Wow, that’s really good. You missed your calling. You should be an artist.”

Me: “I— I am. That’s literally my job here.”

She blushed so quickly I was worried she was going to pass out, but then we both laughed.

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A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 10

, , , , | Healthy | April 21, 2021

When I was almost nineteen years old, I moved to Iceland to try to work there. I had gotten the job prior to moving, so that and living quarters were not an issue. The job was as an uneducated gardener, so some of it was physical-labour intensive — digging and moving heavy stuff. It was nothing too bad, but as this was very new to me, I did find some new muscles.

One day, about three weeks after I had started, I noticed that my wrist was hurting very badly, every time I tried to use any equipment, light or heavy. Since I had some small problems with my wrist years before, I wanted to get it checked by a doctor to see if it just needed rest or something more.

As I was in a new country, I didn’t understand the local language too well, so I wasn’t sure where to find a healthcare center. Luckily, there was one close to my working area, so I went there to ask them how to get help.

I waited patiently in the queue, and when it was my turn, I asked politely if we could have the conversation in English. The receptionist started to huff, but she did reply in English.

Me: “My wrist is hurting, and I would like to know if someone could take a look at it. Since I haven’t been to a doctor in Iceland before, could you please tell me how I book a time with one?”

Receptionist: *Huffs in anger* “You cannot just walk in here and expect a doctor to just see you! You need to book a time!”

I was very confused, since that’s exactly what I asked for help with.

Me: “Well, yes, that’s what I’m planning on. I’m not expecting a doctor right now, but I just want to know how to book a time. I’ve never done that in Iceland before. Could you help me?”

Receptionist: *Still huffing in anger* “You need to call in order to book at time! This is not how you do it!” *Starts to look at some papers*

Me: *Lost for words* “But… I’m trying to do exactly that. How do I—”

Receptionist: *Cuts me off* “Here! Take this paper and fill it out. Give it back afterward.”

I was very confused, but the papers were in English, so I could fill them out. Afterward, I went back to the receptionist, since I thought maybe now I could get the info I needed.

Me: “Here is the paper. What now?”

Receptionist: *Still clearly annoyed* “Sit down over there. A doctor will take you as soon as possible.”

Me: *Very confused* “But… I did not mean…”

By now, the receptionist was just glaring at me, so I couldn’t do anything else but sit down and wait. Some fifteen or twenty minutes later, a door next to me opened and a doctor asked me to come in.

Doctor: *Visibly not satisfied, but not angry* “You know, you need to book a time before you can see a doctor here. You cannot just walk in and demand one.”

I was now even more confused and annoyed, but I was still trying to be polite.

Me: “But that’s exactly what I tried to do! I did ask the receptionist how to book a time, but they didn’t answer me. They just gave me some papers to fill out and asked me to sit down and wait! I never expected to see a doctor now or even today!”

The doctor finally seemed to realize what had happened.

Doctor: “Really? Well, there is a phone number you can call. And since you live outside of this area, you should go to another healthcare center closer to your address.”

The doctor checked my wrist, and thankfully, it was only about me not being used to this kind of work, so it only needed as much rest as I could give it for a few days. I was still allowed to work.

But I never got an answer to my original question: how do I book a time with a doctor at the healthcare center in my area? It took me at least a year before I found out on my own, and only because I had learned the language well enough.

Related:
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 9
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 8
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 7
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 6
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 5

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Now It Smells Like Fish AND Flowers!

, , , , , | Working | March 17, 2021

My company booked a hotel room for a work convention I have to attend. I get lucky and it is a pretty nice place, better than I would normally book myself. Unfortunately, it is one mess-up after the next: missing booking, wrong room, room unclean, and delay after delay. Eventually, I have to leave the hotel just to get away from sitting in the lobby for the hour it is taking to get the room sorted and the billing confirmed.

I do eventually get my room; after all that, it isn’t even that clean. I end up cleaning the bathroom and picking up litter in the room. I see that they have put a bunch of flowers on the bed, clearly as an apology, but at this point it feels like an empty gesture. As a man in his thirties traveling on his own, and with severe hay fever, I don’t really want or need them. They eventually end up in the bin so I can sleep. 

The issues carry on through my stay, despite many attempts to resolve them. I have a terrible stay. After a few days, the convention is over and I am keen to get away. I drop my keys off and check that the bill is okay.

I see the same receptionist I have dealt with many times on this visit.

Receptionist: “Okay, so room 304. Oh, I see.”

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Receptionist: “I have a note that there was a problem with your room cleanliness. Did this get resolved to your satisfaction?”

Me: “Yeah, it was okay, I guess.”

Receptionist: “It’s just that I see housekeeping delivered some flowers to your room, and they were a little… surprised to see them just… thrown away.”

Me: “Do I look like a guy who wants flowers?”

Receptionist: “Well, no, but still—”

Me: “What was I supposed to do with them, exactly? There was no vase, and I have a three-hour drive home.”

Receptionist: “But still, the housekeeping felt—”

Me: “I’m sorry, but no one was concerned about the many mistakes with my room service, the missing toiletries that I had to end up buying myself, the AC that didn’t work, or the repeated noise I complained about. But some flowers get put in the bin and that’s a priority?”

Receptionist: “Well, no, but—”

Me: “Are we finished here?”

Receptionist: “Would you like to sign up for our rewards program?”

Me: “No, thank you. I don’t think I will be back.”

I told my company to remove the hotel from the list, which they did. I still cannot believe a hotel that expensive was so backward in customer support.

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