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When The Employee Is Agitated, It’s Usually Because Of The Customer

, , , , , | Right | September 16, 2021

I run the office in a small family-owned auto repair shop. The owner is also the lead technician, so his days are very busy working on cars along with the duties of running the business. My job is to take care of everything I can on the business end so he’s free to concentrate on the repairs. Our policy is that the owner does not take phone calls, especially cold sales calls. If a customer or known vendor needs to speak to him and it’s something I can’t help with, the owner takes the call, of course. We get annoying sales calls all day, every day — my least favorite part of my job.

A youngish-sounding woman calls and asks to speak to “the owner.” She doesn’t call him by name, although she could find that information on our website in about three seconds.

Me: “I’m sorry, he’s not available. May I help you?”

Caller: “No, I need to talk to the owner. When’s a good time to reach him?”

Me: “I’m sorry, he doesn’t take calls. May I help you?”

Caller: “He doesn’t take calls?”

Me: “No, he doesn’t have time to deal with calls; that’s what he pays me for. Is there something I can help you with?”

I guess by this time, my tone may have gone from very polite at the beginning to a bit testy.

Caller: “No, you sound agitated. I’ll call back later and talk to the owner. Click.”

Sure, honey, because suddenly someone else will answer the phone in my one-person office and put you through to the boss. Oh, and of course, I’ll be less “agitated” when you call again.