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Today, On “The World Is Too Big And It Scares Me”:

, , , , , , | Right | March 18, 2022

I work as a receptionist for a healthcare company that often helps people get started with disability, Medicaid, SSI, etc. We have locations across the entire country, with thousands of employees. The phone rings about fifteen minutes to close.

Caller: “Hi, I received this letter that says someone by the name C. [Somewhat Uncommon Last Name] is handling my application. I need to talk to them.”

Me: “No problem, one moment.”

I search by the last name in my directory and find four matches, three of whom have a first name that starts with C. I transfer the caller to the [Customer Service] representative on my list. The other two are in IT and Accounting, so they’re unlikely candidates. Two minutes later, the phone rings again.

Caller: “Yeah, I just talked to you. No one answered; I just got a voicemail. Can you get that person on the phone? It’s C.—” *Spells the last name*

Me: “Ma’am, I have three C. [Last Name]s in my directory, I sent you to the one I believed to be the most likely person. Do you have any other information, such as the department they are from? Is this regarding a Medicaid or Disability appli—”

Caller:Three?! But it’s an uncommon last name!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, it is, but we have multiple people working for the company with that last name. We have offices across the country, so there are bound to be some similar names.”

Caller: “But it’s such an uncommon last name! It’s [Last Name]!”

She spells it out again.

Caller: “I got this suspicious letter, and I need to find out what’s going on with my application!”

Me: “Let me send you to our general resolution line, and anyone there can at least pull up your information in their system and see what’s going on.”

Caller: “You can’t do it? Or get C. [Last Name] on the phone?”

Me: “I’m a receptionist and don’t have access to any client information. Let me get you over to someone who can help you.”

I transferred her before she could argue. As I hung up the phone, a delivery person arrived, so I left my desk to unlock the door and let them in. When I returned to my desk, I saw a missed call from the same lady. She left a very similar voicemail that I then forwarded to the rep. Sorry that some people within a nationwide company might share a last name?

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