Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The 80/20 Rule

Today I was on the 19th floor for the third day in a row; Mary Martha must have the bird flu. I’m starting to miss the comforts of my regular floor -- like my visits from Deborah, the lady who’s in charge of stocking the refreshments in the conference rooms. She always sneaks me free bottles of water (which I stash in my purse and take home -- I have to ration my water intake during the day because I only have limited bathroom breaks). And I miss the attorneys on my floor, who seem so nice in retrospect. Sure, most of them never talk to me, but they also don’t actively seek opportunities to be mean to me.

I got another call from That Partner today. It was a roll-over call, meaning he had called an attorney’s extension, but after a certain number of rings of neither the attorney nor the secretary picking up, it rolled over to me. “Is Pat Thompson there?” he barked, cutting off my “Reception desk, may I help you?” greeting.

“It looks like…uh…Pat Thompson is not in right now.” (Receptionists and secretaries are supposed to refer to attorneys at all times as Mr./Ms. Attorney, but I was unable to shuffle through Mary Martha’s phone list in time to find Pat’s picture and determine his/her gender.)

“What do you mean it looks like he’s not in?” he asked, with (continued) impatience. Does this guy not understand how the whole roll-over system works? If you’re speaking to the receptionist, it’s because no one answered the attorney’s phone. So to me, it looks like the attorney is not in his office, but I’m not his secretary -- I’m out front in the reception area, so I have no way of knowing for sure. He might be in there and just not answering his phone.

I started to stutter a response but he cut me off again: “Just tell him I called.”

“Sure, and your name is?”…but he had already hung up.

I left a message for Mr. Thompson that he had missed a call and named the rude partner from yesterday as the caller. I’m 80% sure that’s who it was, but there’s also a 20% chance that there are multiple attorneys on the 19th floor who are complete assholes.


Blogger Lia said...

We all love things like caller ID so much that we forget that it can sometimes work against us. Like when the number doesn't show up, and you don't give your name. But if his number did come up, couldn't you go through the attorneys' directory phone listings one by one to find out who he is? Something to pass the time . . .

June 30, 2005 5:53 AM  
Blogger Kim Plaintive said...

Unfortunately the caller doesn't show on roll-over calls -- all that comes up is who it was rolling from. I would guess the partner didn't know/care about that...

June 30, 2005 8:43 AM  
Blogger RR said...

Sheesh, makes me glad I don't work in your office. He sounds like the kind of man who would cut me off in traffic. Unfortunately, the job of receptionist is one of the most under-rated and under-appreciated jobs in the corporate world.

June 30, 2005 10:31 AM  
Blogger JLR said...

amen to that. I had a job as a receptionist once. My first or second day on the job the president of the company called and when I didnt' recognize his voice, he told me that if I couldn't do my job then maybe they needed to find someone who could. I don't know what it is abut these guys that makes them think they are SO special that we just somehow know who they are.

June 30, 2005 5:25 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

Oh I hate taking calls from rude people!

Very funny blog though!

June 30, 2005 9:02 PM  

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