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They Need A Town Hall To Discuss The Town Hall

, , , , | Right | September 26, 2020

I work for a town government. Due to our state’s regulations regarding the health crisis, we are not able to accommodate customers in our usual Town Hall, but fortunately, the Community House next door has been turned into temporary “customer service” windows for our use.

On the doors of the Town Hall are signs explaining that the building is closed but that the Community House will be open, and explaining the opening hours. We also issue a press release explaining the new hours and location in the local paper, on community TV, and on the town’s official Facebook page, Twitter, and home page of the website.

We were closed to the public from the beginning of March to the middle of July and have only been open for about two weeks, so we understand that this is new and a learning curve for our customers who are used to going to Town Hall. We explain the new hours and location, including address, to every person who calls in wanting to come to visit in person.

Me: “[Department], can I help you?

Customer: “Yes, hi, I was wondering how to go about [process]?”

Me: “Okay, well, there are a few ways to do that. You can either do that online at [website], you can do it through the mail or through the dropbox, or we also have new hours from [days and times] at the Community House, which is located at [address].”

Customer: “Oh, you’re open? Oh, that’s great! I’ll send my husband down right away! Goodbye!”

Me: “Okay, thank you! Bye!”

About fifteen minutes go by. The phone rings.

Me: “[Department], can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, my husband was just down there at Town Hall, and he said the doors were locked and there was a sign on the door saying you were closed. I thought you said you were open?”

Me: “Yes, Town Hall is closed, but I said the Community House was open. We are right next door. It’s the same building as where you vote. Tell him to go there and look for the ‘ENTER HERE’ signs on either side of the building.”

Customer: Oh, okay. I’ll let him know, thanks!”

Me: “No problem, bye!”

A couple of minutes later, I hear someone try to open the “EXIT ONLY” doors. We have been instructed not to let people in that way, but since the “ENTER HERE” doors are only fifty feet away on either side of the exit door and clearly within line of sight, I figure they will figure it out soon. The phone rings.

Me: “[Department], can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, my husband was just at the Community House where you told me to send him, but the doors were locked! You said you were open!

Me: “We are. Did he try the doors with the large ‘ENTER HERE’ signs?”

Customer: “No, he went to the door that we always go in!”

Me: “Okay, but those doors are being used as exit-only doors right now. There is a big sign on those doors saying, ‘EXIT ONLY’. He needs to go to one of the side doors that say, ‘ENTER HERE’.”

Customer: “Well, you should have made it more clear!”

Me: “I’m sorry. The signs are large, about three by four feet, and have big, bold, red letters with ‘EXIT ONLY’ and ‘ENTER HERE’ written on them.”

Customer: “Still, you should make it more clear!”

Me: “I don’t know how, but I will pass on the comment.”

Customer: “And furthermore, you should have made it more clear that the Town Hall was closed and we were supposed to go to the Community House!”

Me: “I did explain that on the phone.”

Customer: “Yeah, but I saw it on the website, and you should make it more clear!”

Me: “The website says the Community House is open. It also says Town Hall is closed.”

Customer: “Yeah, but you should make it more clear!”

Me: “It also has the address on it.”

The Town Hall and Community House have very different street addresses since they face different streets.

Customer: “Still, you should make it more clear!”

Me: “The signs on the Town Hall say it’s closed and to go to the Community House.”

Customer: “You should still make it more clear!”

Me: *Sighs* “I’ll pass on the comment.”

I told my supervisor who just laughed.

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