Thursday, March 25, 2010


Welcome to the random ruminations of the voice that answers your call. That's right, I've spent most of my adult life answering phone calls for a living - order taking, message taking, directing calls, assisting customers, trouble shooting, setting up long distance. You name it, I've done it. (Except for phone sex - one does have to draw the line somewhere.) And you know what, I hate talking on the phone. A shame then, that it does happen to be a talent of mine.

For a while I worked for a company that took orders for radio infomercials for "natural remedies." You would not believe what people would call in and buy: Wild Oregano Kits, magnetic mattress pads, multi-vitamins, all after hearing someone talk about it on the radio for half an hour. And they'd pay - the average ticket was right at $90. It's been 10 years and I can still recite portions of the scripting. What, you ask, is wild oregano good for? It's supposed to cure everything from sinus infections to toe nail fungus. EW. And double EW when people try to describe their ailments.

Later I worked as the relief switchboard operator at Terrebonne General in Houma. I was working the graveyard shift when the psych ward called to have me alert security that one of the patients had escaped. Upon asking for a description, I was provided with "He's short, dark haired and wearing a Harley Davidson t-shirt." You must understand - that describes at least half of the men in Terrebonne Parish at any given time. Upon further prompting for a description, the ward clerk replies, "Well, he is naked from the waist down." I couldn't decide if I need to laugh or cry. Doesn't it make sense that that is how you would start your description?

For the past three years, I've been writing obituaries at the local paper. A large part of my daily duties include answering the phone and assisting the public in placing an obituary. I try to make allowances for people - I know that it is a really hard time in their life - but good grief! They drive me up the wall. Let me offer you some tips on placing an obituary: 1) Double and triple check your information - make sure it is all correct BEFORE submission. 2) Have everyone who might want to have some input read it before you send it in. Someone will want to make an addition or a change. 3) It COSTS to place an obituary. Do not be shocked when a price is quoted to you. 4) The obituary clerk cannot make decisions about who to include for you. 5) Choose a decent picture. If you don't have one, it is better for the obit to run sans picture than with a crappy one.

Enough about all of that. For now, anyway. Future installments will cover my thoughts about all kinds of things - pop culture, television, politics, movies, work, etc. I may even wax nostalgic about other call center happenings. ;)

1 comment:

  1. This is great! So glad you started a blog - you do have some great stories!