Photo Courtesy: Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones
This is a true career story as told to LatPro.com, a site where readers can hear real workplace confessions like this one from a daycare teacher, and many others.
I have many stories in which I was unbelievably stupid, but for the sake of you, dear readers, I will narrow my embarrassing tales of confessional woe down to just one. My hope is that it saves someone else from committing professional suicide, as I so often do.
I wish I could say that I was one of those cool-as-a-cucumber emergency dispatchers who saved desperate people from hurting themselves. Alas, no; I was but a simple HVAC (heating, venting and cooling) and small appliance dispatcher, so I am under no grand illusion that I made any sort of difference in the cog of humanity; however, most of the time I was fairly efficient at my job. Sometimes I even managed to get my technician to the customerâ€™s home within the scheduled window of time with a minimum amount of fuss.
My job as a customer service dispatcher consisted of telling 32 egocentric, albeit, overworked technicians who suffer from a God-like complex where to go all day (literally, not figuratively). Although, for those people who were unfortunate enough to have their air conditioner go out on them on a sweltering hot triple degree Texas day, my techs probably did fit neatly in that description. However, I digress.
One fine day, the shopâ€™s owner (weâ€™ll just call him Romeo; youâ€™ll see why later) announced that the business would now be run â€˜round the clock. Much grumbling ensued as our fearless leader/slave master assigned emergency calls. My vertically-challenged boss then set his beady eyes on me. I looked around. One by one, all the other customer service reps averted their passive-aggressive, betraying little faces.
Nothing gets by me; something was definitely in the works. He sweetly requested (ordered) me into his office and told me that I would be holding the phones at night, and wasnâ€™t I the lucky one? Didnâ€™t I need extra money for that new baby I would soon be expelling? Yes. He said that word. What an absolute peach!
Things Were Going Smoothly…
Things rocked along smoothly enough. I would get the call at 2:00 AM, phone the â€œon callâ€ technician, and wake him from his slumber in the dead of night. They were always ecstatic to hear from me.
You may be wondering where Romeo fits into all of this, as well as why I have named him thus. Letâ€™s just say this: what he lacked in height, he made up for in coins. There was no â€œshortageâ€ of women, as I found out rather abruptly one night. I was only aware of Joanne – the little ducky who dropped in quite frequently to borrow his Porsche. He never mentioned to us worker bees that he had more than the one ducky.
Here is the illuminating dialogue that occurred on that fateful night as I awoke to answer my gently tinkling cell phone in my usual chipper, well-modulated, professional speaking voice (hey, it could happen!).
Sultry-sounding female voice: â€œHello, where is Romeo?â€
Me: â€œIâ€™m sorry; who is this please?â€
Her: â€œThis is his girlfriend. Who might you be?â€
Me: â€œOh, hello Joanne, how are you? Itâ€™s Cynthia from the office. We transfer the office phones to me at night now. Did you try his cell phone?â€
(In the space of two nanoseconds, the sultry-sounding voice turned into a screeching banshee-like can of evil incarnate.)
Her: â€œWho is Joanne?â€
Houston, we have a problem. Utter panic. You know how a crawfish can only move backwards? That was how my end of the conversation went thereafter.
She mustâ€™ve finally reached Romeo, because he then called and told me to call her back and do damage control.
Me: â€œThis is all a mistake. Of course you are not Joanne. Who is Joanne, anyway? I was dreaming when I answered the phone!â€
She didnâ€™t buy it.
He sent me packing the following morning. A little more information couldâ€™ve gone a very long way in this instance.
Patricia C has a degree in International Relations and enjoys learning from other cultures and traveling.