Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I Am The Receptionist

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Today I am the receptionist at my organization where I work. All of the ladies on our staff are having a half-day retreat away from the office, and I volunteered to cover the phones, on-site visitors and the other responsibilities that our receptionist does.

I am a proven multi-tasker, so I don't mind the juggling of multiple phone calls, visitors and requests. I normally have a pleasant speaking voice and a smile, and I try to be helpful in all of my encounters with people, so the customer service aspect of the job isn't a challenge. I guess it is the intangibles that are causing me to experience a bit of a learning curve.

Case in point: A woman called and asked to be connected with "Barbara". We don't have a Barbara on staff, and when I responded with an unsure voice (we could have hired a Barbara since I left the office yesterday), the caller realized she needed to give me more information. "She has a nice haircut," was her next statement. Hmmmm. Again I went blank. Then the caller described where Barbara sat in our worship services. Adding that information to the nice haircut clue, I deduced a name. "That's her!" the caller exclaimed. Whew!

Well that was a first for me (not the amateur detective work in locating a person's identity, but the nice haircut clue). And now if I am ever tasked with identifying a person having only the same small bit of information, I feel I will be able to identify a mystery person more readily.

Actually I doubt it.

Question: What experiences have you had that give you a new poerspective on what others do? Share your thoughts below in comments.

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Sue M. said...

Good for you, Brad! Quite a challenge, I'm sure. Should give you a new appreciation for the situations that others face everyday.

I have a funny story related to your experience. My father had just begun working at Goddard Space Flight Center as a contractor. My mother called him to find out when he was coming home for dinner. The person who answered the phone didn't know him by name. After my mother went through various descriptions of him (contractor from IBM, worked on such and so project, etc.), the woman finally made the connection: "Oh, you mean the portly, gray haired gentleman!" She was right and when my father heard the story, he went on a diet.

Brad Lewis said...

Great story on your Dad! That was definitely worth sharing.

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