Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Random Phone Events

Where I work at (and this is true for almost any airline) we don't freely give out our phone numbers. While it's quite possible to look up a corporate contact phone number online, my department's numbers are not publicly accessible...and I think this is a good thing, since we have enough legitimate work-related calls to deal with. However, we do get the occasional wrong phone of our desks evidently has a number very similar to the county jail, so whoever is working that desk occasionally gets a call asking about a particular inmate. At one of my previous airlines, one of our lines exclusively used for communicating with the cockpit via a radio link system turned out to be one digit off from a local radio station, so we were getting a lot of calls in for a while requesting we play a particular song until my boss got our number changed.

All this being said, sometimes people do give out the phone number where I work to someone that really shouldn't be calling on, someone will put it on a form asking for contact information...and we get repeated calls over a period of days asking for that person. Car dealerships are particularly notorious for this. I wish people would realize when they are filling out an "information form" and not something formal like a loan application to NOT include their work number.

For the last couple of days I've been working a desk dealing with mainly European flights. And, for each of the past two days, I've been interrupted by calls for one of my co-workers...let's just call him James, even though he is not my ex-roomate. The calls all are from people speaking with an Indian accent. "Is James there?" I asked for the last name since we have more than one person who works here named James. They gave it to me, and I told them that he was not at work today after checking to see who was signed in to our computers. Usually that will end the call, but in this case it just seemed to confuse them. I hung up and got another call about an hour later asking for him again. I told them he STILL wasn't here, and they asked me to tell him he was eligible for some kind of rebate (I'm not sure what for.)

Yesterday was the most entertaining call yet. Once again, the representative from India asked for James, and once again, I said he wasn't working. I told him I'd check the schedule and see when he was due back (which is a stretch of the information we're supposed to give out, but I was tired of getting the calls.) He then asked if I was his assistant. I replied no, but that I worked in a big office. I could kind of hear the Indian call center representative light up over the phone when I said that.

"Big office? Really? Do you have any beautiful ladies working there?" I swear, that is what he said next. I started laughing. He explained further: "We are working on an ad campaign and we are looking for beautiful ladies." I told him to hold on for a minute, then put the call on hold for about sixty seconds and hung up. I considered randomly transferring the call over to one department on my floor that does have a lot of "ladies" working in it, but I decided that wouldn't be fair to them.

Looking back, I think I wasted a chance to totally freak out a call center representative. When he called and asked his "beautiful ladies" question, I should have told him, "Nope, sorry! We only hire really ugly people to work here. There's a preliminary test you have to pass, and if you're not In-Living-Color-Wanda ugly, you don't get hired." I think he got the message when I hung up, though, since I got no more calls from him last night. I'm working on a different desk (and phone number) today so hopefully I won't get any more odd calls. I do have to say, though, it made for a memorable shift.

1 comment:

Suldog said...

That's funny stuff, Chuck. Oh, man, the opportunity you wasted!

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I'm a lovely lady."


"Yes. But my voice turns people off. Do you think it's too deep?"

And so on. Oh, well.