Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Headset Guy

"You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity. " — Bullet Tooth Tony

In case you were wondering what i do when not camping, fishing, tying flies or blogging, i work for a local city/state government utility. i've pretty much done everything in said utility department in the almost 10 years since i've been employed there from reading meters, taking payments, shutting off water and gas due to non-payment, and now, answering the phone.

i'm the headset guy....the smiling face on the other end of the phone (or at least it sounds like it)....the guy in the commercials who loves helping people (not entirely untrue), the voice who sounds like a cross between the TV weather man and the baseball play by play guy, the friendly guy who can make you feel good about the $500.00 water bill you just received, the smooth voice who can't actually do too much for you due to laws, codes, and rules.

i know....i know....i'm sure you expected me to work in a muffler shop next to where they put on the mower show every year.....

i'm making it sound as if i hate my job; i don't. i have it pretty easy at my desk every day. i'm not looking to run the place. i'm quite happy with the way things are.....i get to blog or tie flies when it's slow, do my job well when it's busy and i have a great boss who pretty much leaves me alone unless i really cause a problem, and when i cause a problem, it's usually due to my own stupidity and lack of restraint. i have this sarcastic, biting wit that comes out when i'm dealing with stupid people (think of Dr. House).

Here are a few examples:

"What forms of payment do you take over the phone?"

"We accept Visa, Mastercard or check by phone."

"You don't take American Express?"

"Oh yes....of course....but only if it has a Visa or Mastercard logo on it."

Not really a big deal....but answering stupid questions like this ALL day long can wear down one's patience.

"What are your hours of operation?"

"We're open Monday thru Friday.....8 am to 5 pm."

"Are you open on Saturdays?"

"Yes....when they change the calendar and switch Wednesdays and Saturdays, we'll be open on Saturday."


"Hold on....let me check" ~ customer on hold for 10 minutes ~ "Ok Ma'am thanks for holding....sorry....no Saturdays as we're closed ."

"Why did you leave me on hold for so long?"

"Because i had to check to see if Saturday was included in Monday thru Friday.....sometimes, they like to change the calendar on me."

And the best one ever....

"You can't shut off my water....i have a child on a respirator."

"Oh....does your child breathe water?"

These are just a few reasons why i've gotten into a bit of hot water as it were.....i'm a lot better now though....have learned to exercise a bit of restraint and put on my best TV weather guy voice. Stupid people don't get on my nerves as they used to.

i know that if i keep my sarcasm under control, show up for work every day, do a good job while i'm here, then i have nothing to worry about....

"Can i talk to someone with a little more clout than a headset guy?"

Eeeeeesh.....just breathe Papa.

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