Friday, 28 March 2008

Reception Rage

Sorry, I just had to get this off my chest.
I am on a switchboard. This means that my sole raison d'etre is to find out who your call needs to be forwarded to.

Scenario #1. This is how the conversation goes in reality, about 239420785 times a day:

Phone rings.

OddBabble: Good morning, [Name of organisation]
Member of Public: Hi, my name is Philancho Peristhwali and I live at 39 Bonkybrook Avenue, but I used to live in Slipsyhips Boulevard from 1990 to 2007. My mother has thyroid issues and has been to see Doctor Randyhosen. No, sorry, Doctor Bristletit. But Doctor Bristletit wasn't able to issue a prescription for my mother, who has a thyroid problem, because she needs a new medical card. Can I give you my postcode so that you can help me to get a new one?
OddBabble: Just hold the line one moment while I put you through to someone who can help you with that.

This is what goes on in my head, about 239420785 times a day:
Phone rings.
OddBabble: Good morning, I feel like dying.
Member of Public: Hi, my name is....
OddBabble: SHUT UP! SHUT UP! It is of NO relevance to me WHATSOEVER what your name is, where you live, who your mother is, who you doctor is or was, what your medical history or hers is or was. SHUT UP. I know you need a medical card, so just say so. Let me put you through to someone who gives a *Click*.
Scenario #2. This is how the conversation goes in reality about 239420785 times a day:
Member of Public walks into reception.
OddBabble is on the phone enduring monologue from Scenario #1.
MoP: Hi I'm here for a meeting concerning the managers and sub-managers of the regional directors for departmental departments.
OddBabble: I'll be with you in just a moment.
This is what goes on in my head about 239420785 times a day:
Member of Public walks into reception.
OddBabble is imagining above angry retaliation while enduring above monologue from Scenario #1.
MoP: Hi I'm here....
OddBabble: ARE YOU BLIND? I am holding a phone receiver to my face. Has it occured to you that there might be a reason for this? It is because I am in a phone call. PHONE, CALLLLLL. So shut up and wait. When I have finished I will pretend I care about your STUPID meeting, but I do NOT care and would like to be dead right now. I wish the same to you.
Scenario #3; Scarily close to many actual conversations:
MoP: The meeting I have come to attend is not on the schedule sheet.
OddBabble says: Oh dear. Would you like me to call someone for you?
OddBabble thinks: That is a statement. It is not a request for help, nor even an acknowledgment that I am a human being. What exactly was it that gave you the impression that I have any desire to help a rude man who fires axiomatic statements at me?
MoP: Yes.
OddBabble says: OK, do you have the name of someone I could contact?
OddBabble thinks: OK, there are two things missing here. The first is the word please. This is a word that people use as a suffix to a sentence in order to communicate that they appreciate they are asking something of someone that they do not have to give, and that they acknowledge the humanity of the person with whom they are speaking. The second thing missing is the name of a person to call. You see, I cannot read your mind and nor do I wish to. You are clearly a moron. The irony is that you think I am a moron, which is why you are speaking to me as if I am some blonde receptionist, just because I am a blonde receptionist.
MoP: No.
OddBabble Says: I need to know a name really, otherwise I can't help you.
OddBabble thinks: OK bye then. BYE. FROG OFF! Why are you still here? Why are you looking at me as if you expect me help you? Do you not understand how little I care?
MoP: Hold on let me think....Dave.
OddBabble says: OK. Do you have a surname?
OddBabble thinks: HOLD ON LET ME THINK? Is this the first time it has occured to you to do that? You would prefer to just stand there staring at me while I do all the running, rather than bother to come up with, what is that you say, DAVE? Do you seriously expect me to suddenly say, "oh Dave! Well why didn't you say?! Thanks so much for your accurate, precise and helpful information!"
MoP: No.
OddBabble says: Right, there are quite a few Dave's in this building! Do you perhaps have the name written down somewhere?
OddBabble thinks: Serioulsy, do you want me to murder you?
MoP: He works for the NHS.
OddBabble says: OK. Do you know what department?
OddBabble thinks: What exactly do you think you have just walked into, if it is not a 4 storey building full of people, all of whom fit the description you have just blessed me with?
MoP: No.
OddBabble says: OK, I'm not sure how I can help you then.
OddBabble thinks: I may actually cry.
MoP: But I need to get to my meeting.
OddBabble says: Right, yes. Do you have any other names of someone I could contact?
OddBabble thinks: Oh why didn't you say so?! You see, I thought this was all just for FUN!! Now I will reveal to you the information that I have been foolishly keeping a secret from you all this time!!
And so it goes on until the MoP realises he got the wrong building/day/receptionist.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

What I Have Learned So Far...

...on my esteemed MSc Course.
Humanistic/Person-Centred Counselling:
Counsellor: Hi Bob, welcome to our session. This time is yours, use it for whatever you need.
Client: Thanks. I'm feeling really low at the moment.
Counsellor: Mmmm.
Client: Yeah, I'm just feeling pretty sad a lot really.
Counsellor: Mmmm. You're feeling sad.
Client: That's right.
Counsellor: Mmmm. It's OK to feel sad Bob. Let's explore how it feels right now for you to be feeling sad right now.Etc. etc.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:
Counsellor: Hi. What's the problem?
Client: Um, I'm feeling really low at the moment.
Counsellor: On a scale of 1 to 10, exactly how low would you say you were feeling?
Client: Um, I guess, a 9?
Counsellor: Right. By the end of the week I want you to get that down to an 8. Here is an exercise: Next time you find yourself feeling sad, give yourself a little slap and say "PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER BOB!".
Client: Um...
Counsellor: Trust me, this stuff really works.
Client: But I...
Counsellor: Sorry, times up.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy:
Counsellor: Hi Bob, I notice you chose to wear blue today. Interesting.
Client: Well, it's funny you should say that. I'm feeling quite blue.
Counsellor: Interesting.
Client: Yes, I'm really quite unhappy.
Counsellor: I notice you used the word unhappy there.
Client: Yes.
Counsellor: It's interesting you should choose that word, or rather, that that word should choose you. You see, the word 'unhappy' is an anagram of the word pypahun.
Client: I'm sorry, I'm not sure I follow...
Counsellor: Pypahun is an ancient word from yore, which has many meanings, but principally it describes someone who wishes to have sex with a family member.
Client: Oh...
Counsellor: It's clear from the way you are sitting that you have been fantasizing about your mother.
Client: Oh!
Counsellor: You are telling me you are unhappy but really you are communicating through the transference and countertransference, a repressed sexual desire which is linked to the way that your father looked at you when you were being potty trained...etc. etc.
*Disclaimer:May I point out that I am using the tool of caricature, and I am not trying to discredit my own future profession (well, maybe the psychodynamic bit). I would also like to point out that in my previous post I was using the tool of comedic licence, and I am not in fact late every day. This is just in case any potential employers, or reference writers, or lecturers should stumble across any of this. That is all.