It's no secret I'm a masochist. And by that, I mean I work for the government, at an IT help desk. Feel the pain! Oh yes baby, throw me under that bus. Oooh, I love it when you can't find the Any Key. Oh, Yes! Threaten to call my boss when I tell you that because you don't have a network connection, I can't remote into your computer and take control to solve the problem. Yell at me! Louder! *purr*
Twisted kinks aside, there are days when I really don't get this job. Today would be one of them.
It's not unusual to get calls asking for the IT manager, or some other generic title. Usually, I kill 'em with kindness and tell the person that, due to the nature of the department I work for, that could be any one of our managers. You see, all we do is provide for the IT needs of the local government. I'll ask if they have a name, or a specific title of a person they need to speak with. Usually, this forces them to realize they need to do a wee bit more work than just calling the switchboard and asking for said generic title and they'll mumble that they need to do a little more research and hang up. It clears the call from my queue, I get to exercise some of my pit bull muscles, and nobody gets annoyed by having to take a sales cold call.
Today, however, we had another live one, similar to the White House employee from a previous day. Her call and my reaction to it can best be summed up in the following IM conversation I had with a friend later in the day:
Ephemily:I had one woman get bitchy with me this morning. She asked for someone who doesn't work here. I said we had nobody by that name. She cops a 'tude telling me that "Well, she *used* to". Uh, ok. That's nice. But, here's the relevant fact; she doesn't work here *now*. Nor has she worked here for the last 4 years. Your information is OLD lady. Suck it up.
Co-Conspirator: people get bitchy about the weirdest things
Ephemily: I know! I didn't understand why her having worked here at one time was important. Look, lady, I didn't know her.
Co-Conspirator: you mean you can't magically conjure her up?
Ephemily: Sadly, no. The last time I tried, I cracked my crystal ball.
Ephemily: I'm saving up for repairs.
Co-Conspirator: you should've asked for a donation
Ephemily: Hahaha! I may do that the next time I get a bitchy one. Thanks!
I'd also like to add that she then proceeded to ask me to speak to someone in her position. I said, I'm sorry, but not knowing who she was, nor having ever heard of her since starting here 4 years ago, I don't know who would be her replacement, because I don't know what her job title was. I simply didn't know who to transfer her to. (And frankly didn't really care. I'm a support technician, not a receptionist.) Her insistence that I simply had to transfer her to someone fell on deaf ears, because she couldn't tell me the job title of the person she was looking for. Sorry toots, I need more information than you're giving me. I won't lose any sleep tonight if you didn't get the opportunity to hock the Next Big Thing to one of our employees. Actually, I think I might sleep better.
My point is this, if you're in outside sales, that's great! Some people thrive on it and do quite well for themselves. Thing is, when you do make that call, it helps to have some information on the company and the person you're trying to reach. It's much like the advice you get when you're interviewing for a job, know the company, know the product, know the person you're going to speak to. If you don't, that's a serious ding right off the bat, and it might get you rejected flat out. I know it will if you are lucky enough to get me on the phone, and I'm a peon. Imagine how that's going to go over when you finally get to talk to the person you want to.