So, in case you’re wondering, the last weekday before a holiday weekend at an answering service? IS INSANITY. I was warned, whoo, was I warned, but I was all, nah, it won’t be that bad. SELF-DELUSION! It was CRAZINESS.
Here’s the scoop: you know how you have a job? Most of you do, probably. I mean, I assume you do. You’re paying your bills and don’t seem to be reading my blog from under a bridge or whatever. You know how most jobs (well, most GOOD jobs) close a little early the day before a holiday weekend, because that’s a nice thing to do? Well, we answer for a lot of places, and most of the places we answer for close a little early the day before a holiday weekend. Most of them tell us (by “us” I mean the answering service, not me and my imaginary friend or something, oh, SIDE NOTE, if you say “us” without specifying who you mean in front of my grandmother? She says one of two things to you: “Do you have a mouse in your pocket?” – that’s if she’s in a good mood – or “Do you have a turd in your pocket?” – that’s if she’s pissed at you.
You don’t want to cross her when she’s in a turd-in-your-pocket mood, no no no. My mom also says these things, but always says turd and not mouse. You can assume that means my mom’s always cranky, if you want. She’s not ALWAYS cranky, but you’re not far off the mark. Her sense of whimsy isn’t the most well-developed, let’s say that. However, it’s nice to have one whimsical parent and one practical parent, because you can’t eat DREAMS, you know? Of course you can’t. Also, genetically, it’s a win, because it makes me nice and balanced. I’m practically whimsical! Whimsically practical! Total win-win combo) if they’re closing early, but not all of them, so we’re kind of all left hanging with our asses in the wind about the ones that left without telling anyone.
So, there are a lot of people in the world. And all those people ALSO got out of work early. And what do people do when they get out of work early? Decide to get some shit done. And most of that shit (from my in-depth experience) seems to be CALLING EVERY PLACE THEY CAN THINK OF.
Caller: Hi, I want to make an appointment to see my doctor. In October. It’s not an emergency.
Operator: I’m sorry, the office closed a little early for the holiday, but let me get your information, I’ll have them call you Tuesday.
Operator: The office closed for the holiday. I’m sorry. But I’m happy to take a message for the office.
Caller: What do you MEAN they’re not open? I’m CALLING them! The recording said they were OPEN!
Operator: I know. I’m sorry. It’s just that it’s a holiday weekend, so they’re closed a little early.
Caller: BUT I AM CALLING NOW. THE RECORDING SAID THEY WERE OPEN NOW.
Operator: I know. I’m so sorry. But if you don’t need an appointment until October, they can call you on Tuesday. That should be ok, right?
Caller: THEY SAID THEY WOULD BE OPEN ON THE RECORDING THIS IS NOT FAIR.
What constantly amazes me is that these people were sent home early from THEIR jobs for the holiday, but HEAVENS FORFEND their doctor (or lawyer, or air conditioner repairman, or apartment complex) close a little early for the holiday. SHENANIGANS! SHENANIGANS!
Now, sometimes, people call with real emergencies. You know what’s funny? The people with real emergencies are the ones who are all, “nah, I don’t want to bother anyone.”
Sample conversation the second:
Operator: Thank you for calling Dr. So-and-So’s office, how can I help you?
Caller: Oh, is this the service? I don’t want to bother anyone. I’m so sorry. So, so sorry.
Operator: No, no. Don’t worry. That’s why we’re here. How can I help you today?
Caller: Oh, well, ok, but, I’m not sure it’s really an emergency.
Operator: It’s fine, ma’am. Don’t worry. That’s why the doctor has an answering service. I promise.
Caller: Well, it’s just that, I was chopping vegetables and I cut my finger off? But I managed to stop most of the bleeding. I think it’ll be ok. No, I’m sure it will. I can wait until the office re-opens. I’m so sorry to have bothered you.
Operator: Um. Please let me take a message and have someone call you. Please. Please let me do that for you. And your missing finger.
Caller: Well, if you’re sure. I feel terrible to bother the doctor at home. He’s probably having dinner with his family! I’m a terrible person.
Operator: Please hurry and give me your information before you pass out from blood loss.
It never fails to make me giggle that the people that really NEED the service we provide are all “I am SO SORRY TO BOTHER ANYONE…but I’m miscarrying” and the shoutiest are all “I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT WHERE TO PARK WHEN I COME TO MY APPOINTMENT IN THREE MONTHS” and they call at 10pm. On a Saturday. And they’re angry (and confused) their doctor’s office isn’t open.
Listen! The next time you call your doctor or lawyer or plumber and you get your answering service, be VERY VERY NICE. You could be talking to ME. You wouldn’t want to be rude to me, would you? No you would not! Be nice, jellybeans. The answering service people are working very hard and if you call them and you’re all peeved-like at your doctor or whoever, don’t yell at them. It’s not their fault. They’re doing their job and taking messages, like they’re supposed to. They’re on your side. Well, mostly. Unless you’re weird. Don’t be weird, ok? Being weird doesn’t get you anywhere. Except mocked once you hang up. What, you think we don’t do that? HA HA HA. Of COURSE we mock you if you are weird. DON’T BE WEIRD.
OK. I know. AMY THIS IS SO SHORT. Sorry, pumpkins, gotta get to bed. Work again tomorrow morning. Promise this will be back to normal someday with lazing around and such. Well, let’s hope. Also, Dumbcat’s all “NO ONE IS PETTING ME RIGHT NOW!” and that’s sad. Poor fella. He’s been alone ALL DAY LONG. Happy Sunday! Be nice to your answering service!