Friday, November 12, 2010

Don't Hate The Playa, Hate The Game.

There's a sales guy at my place of work. I don't want to name names, so let's just call him Spanky.

Spanky and I butt heads sometimes. Over Halloween we bonded and I didn't mind him so much. We had a truce, as far as I was concerned.

Until yesterday. While he was out on a business trip, he called the front desk.

At this point you may need some background. Employee's are not allowed to call the front desk. A special back line has been set up specifically so that they may try the extension of the person they're trying to reach. If they don't happen to know the extension, there is a handy dandy directory where you can search by last name. It's pretty great.

The reason this back line was set up is because employee's were flooding the front desk with calls and random searches to track down other people. This made it difficult for us (my co-receptionist and I) to be available to actual customers and get other work done. So a bossman took pity on us and sent out an email to ALL employee's with a detailed email on proper back line procedure.

I'm pretty strict about enforcing this rule. When an employee calls the front desk I ask them why they aren't using the back line. Sometimes there are exceptions of course. If it's an emergency, or for some reason it doesn't work with extensions that are for remote employee's. There has been a situation where a person was very rude to me and instead of transferring him to the person he asked for, I transferred him to his boss and asked the manager to remind him about the back line and to ask him to please not be rude to me. There hasn't been a situation since then.

Until yesterday. Yes, I know I said that twice but it's very dramatic and I like it.

Spanky called the front desk, asking if his boss was in. I looked over and saw light in the office was on and the door was open. I told him I believed he was here but couldn't see if he was actually in his office. Because of our shaky truce I decided just this once I would try his extension when Spanky asked ever so nicely.

The manager did not answer his phone after about thirty seconds, so I tried to switch back over to let Spanky know, but he had disconnected. Annoying, but maybe it was an accident? I tried to stay positive. Less than a minute later Spanky called back, asking for another employee. I was somewhat annoyed but I figured it can't hurt to humor him one more time.

Unfortunately for me, the same thing happened. I tried the extension, no answer, and when I went back to inform him he had disconnected again which means the whole deal was a waste of time. I was not happy at this point.

So when he called in the third time asking for a tech I leaned back and asked, probably sounded more exasperated than I intended to, if there was a reason he wasn't using the back line. He got a very snippy attitude and responded that he didn't know the extensions. I told him I would be happy to email him an extension list, then tried the tech's extension only for him to not answer, not that it would have mattered because Spanky had disconnected for the third time.

I sent Spanky an email with the extension list attached and in the message wrote that there was also a directory on the back line to search by last name. Right after I sent the email the direct line for the other receptionist started ringing. She was at lunch so I got up and answered it only to discover, to my delight, that it was Spanky, trying to avoid me. He asked for Tech Guys cell phone number. I put him on hold as I went back to my desk to check the extension list and when I got back to him I found he had disconnected again.

I got this passive aggressive email shortly after:

"I will search the document as I drive 85 on the freeway....




Resisting the urge to make a snarky comeback about speeding I instead called up my friend (who works at the same company) and asked what kind of response I should make. Since his plan didn't involve stabbing I assumed it was better than mine.

I dug up the original email from bossman telling the employee's to use the back line forwarded it to Spanky with my own reminder -

"As you can see from the email below that I am forwarding from bossman, the phone issue is not my decision. Please do not get upset with me for enforcing rules.

If you have an issue with this, please feel free to bring it up with him.

Thank you!


He did not respond.

I think that means I win.


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