Saturday, 15 October 2005

Abusive phone call of the year

One of the many problems with the public sector is that every single trivial action is subject to Byzantine sets of rules and procedures. For instance, to order a new part for the printer, I was required to fill out a number of complicated forms, which were then cross checked by no less than eight separate members of staff. Even answering the telephone is subject to a set of unnecessary guidelines. Last week, my boss handed to me a booklet entitled ‘The Guide to Effective Communication’, a patronising and somewhat repulsive document, offering advice to public servants on how to answer the telephone.

Leafing through the pages of the guide, I learnt that I must be ‘diverse’ in my dealings, and ‘sensitive to the differing needs of members of the public’. This is easier said than done. Some of the clients who ring my telephone have a command of the English language roughly akin to that of Manuel from Faulty Towers. Instead of being mindful of their deficiencies, they frequently get irritated and abusive when I ask them to repeat things.

Since the department was informed of its fate, things have got a little bit slack. Yesterday, the sum total of my work was to draw a couple of Mickey Mouse ears on a picture of Mao Tse Tung. I then added the caption ‘Mickey Mao’ and hung the image above my desk.

Mickey Mao

Just as I finished doing this the telephone rang ominously. I lifted the receiver. ‘Good afternoon, Nottingham Works’ I said enthusiastically, making a concerted effort to communicate more ‘effectively’. I was confronted with heavy breathing from the other end of the line.

‘I did free driving lessons with you’ came a gruff female voice that conveyed more than a slight sense of menace. ‘Sorry, can you repeat that?’ I said, having not quite heard what she had said. The breathing increased rapidly. She now sounded like an asthma victim who had been forced to climb a steep flight of stairs.

‘FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!, I…took…free…driving..lessons..with..you,’ she replied, demonstrating a lack of what the H.R department have termed ‘people skills’. I didn’t let my fa├žade of cheeriness drop and said politely ‘ah, I see, and how is it I can help you?’. ‘I need the number for East Midlands driving school’ she said with a total absence of warmth or affection. ‘Okey Dokey, let me just look it out for you’ I replied and my boss began to sort through the driving academy file looking for the required information. After about a couple of minutes I could tell that the caller was getting slightly frustrated. She began to snort into the receiver and launched into wave after wave of abuse in my direction. ‘FFFUUUCKK!…….FUCKING HELL, WHY THE FUCK IS THIS TAKING SO LONG!!!!’ she began to scream down the line. ‘Just a moment’ I said diplomatically, ‘my colleague is just looking the number out for you, she’ll have it in just a moment’. ‘FUCK YOU!’ came the somewhat abrupt reply. It appeared that the caller was impatient as well as chronically stupid

Technically I am within my rights to put the phone down at this stage, but working such a dull job, incidents like this are like gold-dust. My boss had retrieved the number and was now reading it out to me from across the office. Unfortunately I was having trouble hearing said number because of the racket emanating from my phone. ‘WHY THE FUCK IS THIS TAKING SO LONG!!, DON’T YOU KNOW THIS IS COSTING MONEY!!!’. It sounded like the caller was on the brink of a prolaspe. I had just received the number and was about to read it to her when she finally slammed the phone down in disgust. It not often you get to deal with people who have the social skills of Attila the Hun after a twenty-four hour drinking binge.

I felt proud, I had followed the guide to effective communication to the letter and done my very best to serve the public. One must be sensitive to the differing needs and requirements of our clients, even if –as is often the case- they happen to sub-human morons.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am doing research for my university thesis, thanks for your brilliant points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.

- Laura

oakleyses said...

tory burch outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, coach outlet store online, polo ralph lauren outlet, chanel handbags, true religion outlet, ray ban outlet, red bottom shoes, burberry outlet online, prada outlet, kate spade outlet online, nike free, polo ralph lauren, christian louboutin shoes, nike air max, christian louboutin outlet, coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, burberry outlet online, true religion, nike shoes, longchamp handbags, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, tiffany jewelry, louis vuitton outlet, nike air max, prada handbags, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet store, kate spade handbags, louis vuitton handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin, longchamp outlet online, michael kors outlet online

oakleyses said...

chaussure louboutin, ralph lauren pas cher, nike free pas cher, burberry pas cher, guess pas cher, ray ban pas cher, converse pas cher, barbour, true religion outlet, tn pas cher, air max pas cher, sac louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, vans pas cher, nike roshe, nike air max, abercrombie and fitch, air jordan, nike free, louis vuitton uk, scarpe hogan, michael kors uk, mulberry, true religion jeans, nike air force, sac vanessa bruno, oakley pas cher, air max, nike roshe run, new balance pas cher, longchamp, north face, ralph lauren, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, hollister, ray ban uk, hermes pas cher, hollister, lululemon, michael kors canada, timberland, sac michael kors, louis vuitton, north face pas cher

oakleyses said...

canada goose outlet, asics shoes, giuseppe zanotti, soccer jerseys, soccer shoes, birkin bag, uggs outlet, bottega veneta, wedding dresses, reebok shoes, north face jackets, mcm handbags, ugg boots, babyliss pro, marc jacobs outlet, vans outlet, lululemon outlet, mac cosmetics, canada goose, herve leger, nike trainers, north face outlet, roshe run, beats headphones, longchamp, instyler ionic styler, valentino shoes, ugg soldes, insanity workout, p90x workout, ugg, jimmy choo shoes, canada goose outlet, abercrombie and fitch, nike huarache, ferragamo shoes, nfl jerseys, ghd, new balance outlet, chi flat iron, rolex watches, celine handbags, mont blanc pens, ugg outlet, hollister, uggs on sale

oakleyses said...

moncler, canada goose, links of london uk, air max, hollister canada, uggs canada, oakley, canada goose pas cher, swarovski jewelry, lancel, parajumpers outlet, juicy couture outlet, toms outlet, canada goose, montre femme, ray ban, replica watches, moncler, canada goose uk, coach outlet, swarovski uk, gucci, supra shoes, louboutin, baseball bats, pandora uk, moncler outlet, converse, nike air max, vans, louis vuitton canada, ralph lauren, moncler, pandora charms, pandora jewelry, thomas sabo uk, ugg, iphone 6 case, canada goose outlet, karen millen, hollister clothing, timberland shoes, moncler, juicy couture outlet, hollister, wedding dress, moncler, moncler, converse shoes

oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, nike outlet, nike free run, nike air max, polo outlet, longchamp outlet, nike free, replica watches, nike roshe, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, tory burch outlet, ugg boots, tiffany jewelry, sac longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin, tiffany and co, louis vuitton, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin uk, polo ralph lauren outlet online, ugg boots, michael kors pas cher, louboutin pas cher, polo ralph lauren, longchamp pas cher, burberry pas cher, jordan shoes, gucci handbags, nike air max, air max, longchamp outlet, jordan pas cher, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses wholesale, kate spade outlet, christian louboutin outlet, christian louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, replica handbags, nike tn, nike free uk, coach purses, burberry outlet, michael kors, polo lacoste, nike blazer pas cher, nike air max, hollister pas cher, ray ban uk, guess pas cher, michael kors, true religion outlet, hogan outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike air max uk, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet, new balance, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, mulberry uk, nike air force, abercrombie and fitch uk, lululemon canada, north face uk, ray ban pas cher, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet online, kate spade, true religion outlet, ralph lauren uk, sac hermes, nike air max uk, vans pas cher, converse pas cher, hollister uk, nike roshe run uk, true religion jeans, north face, michael kors outlet, sac vanessa bruno, true religion outlet, oakley pas cher

oakleyses said...

new balance shoes, chi flat iron, nike trainers uk, vans outlet, ghd hair, ipad cases, iphone cases, mont blanc pens, bottega veneta, ferragamo shoes, mac cosmetics, herve leger, timberland boots, s6 case, wedding dresses, nike air max, iphone 6 cases, ralph lauren, soccer jerseys, valentino shoes, oakley, longchamp uk, baseball bats, soccer shoes, nike roshe run, babyliss, beats by dre, north face outlet, iphone 6s cases, nike huaraches, north face outlet, hermes belt, iphone 6s plus cases, celine handbags, lululemon, hollister clothing, mcm handbags, asics running shoes, nfl jerseys, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, jimmy choo outlet, iphone 5s cases, iphone 6 plus cases, hollister, instyler, giuseppe zanotti outlet, p90x workout, reebok outlet, louboutin

oakleyses said...

juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, ugg, pandora jewelry, moncler, replica watches, moncler outlet, pandora uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, gucci, canada goose uk, swarovski crystal, converse, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, moncler, supra shoes, ugg pas cher, hollister, swarovski, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, moncler uk, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, canada goose jackets, canada goose, canada goose, links of london, toms shoes, montre pas cher, pandora charms, doudoune moncler, moncler, barbour uk, louis vuitton, ugg uk, karen millen uk, moncler, ray ban, coach outlet, barbour, lancel, louis vuitton, hollister, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, wedding dresses, nike air max