Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Not Funny (yet)

It's well documented that I cannot read nor write numbers in order. Usually I can joke about this ... but there are a few times when I can't.

One aspect of my job is occasionally having to enter a customer's "ID Number" into the system when they call. Since they don't know it's me that answered the phone, they rattle their five and six digit number at lightening speed. They don't even break them up in couplets or trios. So for me, it's just pretty much gibberish after the second number.

Then, there's repeating the phone number back to customers, to make sure the number listed in the database is correct. This is hard because when there's a discrepancy, I can't tell if I've read the number wrong, or said the number wrong, or it's really WRONG. Yet, usually our customers are pretty kind and patient while I try to sort it out. Especially since by this point most of them realize it's me - and know I can't "do" numbers.

Because of these difficulties, there are some concessions made to my job duties. I don't have to work with accounts payable or receivable, nor am I expected to check the billing. I am not even allowed to tell the copier people how many copies have been made each quarter on our machines. (which is fine with me)

There are some job duties that cannot be avoided or delegated. Like CALLING the customers. It's not so much the CALLING, it's the DIALING the number that presents the problem. I usually dial most numbers two or three times, because I catch that I've entered a number wrong, before it rings. Sometimes I don't. But wrong numbers are ok because when the phone is answered and they say a different business name, I know I miss dialed.

What's NOT so okay is when the number is so mangled I get the recording, "This number cannot be connected as dialed". When I get that message I'm not sure if it's because I dialed wrong or there's a problem with the number. After I dial and get the message for the second or third time, I go to a different part of the database to find the right number. But sometimes all the "alternative numbers" are wrong too.

About a month ago I was having difficulty reaching a number. Every time I dialed it, I got the "This number cannot be connected as dialed" message. When I say "every time" I mean I tried AT LEAST SEVEN OR EIGHT TIMES. I was highly irritated, because THIS TIME I was sure SOMEONE had put the number in wrong ... and the other people who'd tried to call previously, had only noted the call was "busy". Which couldn't be true .. it was just they were too l-a-z-y to look up the number and correct it.

It's possible I was on a tare that day anyway, about the injustices of the world, and how dachshunds were too long and Great Danes are too tall and the sky was the wrong color, etc. I felt it was vital the injustices of the world be corrected ... and we might as well start with my slothful coworkers.

So when the GM came to my desk I had him look at the call. All dramatic like I said, "Look what happens when I dial this number!!" and I dialed it on the speaker phone so he could HEAR THE MESSAGE and know what slacker coworkers he employed.

The phone rang once.

The phone range a second time.

When it went to ring the third time, I fully expected to hear the horrid sound followed by, "This number cannot be connected as dialed". I turned toward my boss ... just WAITING FOR THE LOOK ON HIS FACE ...

When the phone was answered, "XYZ Cotton".

I thought the GM was going to pass out from trying to keep a straight face as he left my desk. Within minutes I heard him back in Hot Sauce's office, and they were laughing their butts off.

That night on the way home Hot Sauce tried to make a joke about it. I gave him the death look and silence. I thought he got the message. Then about a week ago, we were talking about how many calls each employee handles, and how many can be answered in a set period of time. "Well, I guess for you we need to knock that off by about two or three calls an hour, for dialing difficulties and all," he said and laughed.

I didn't laugh.

Today there was another call that had "busy" noted next to it 3 different times. Each time I called I got "the message". When I looked up the customer in the other database, the customer name didn't match but the phone number was the same in two places. I went to a third place where data is stored. Same phone number ... BUT different area code. I dialed ... still THE MESSSAGE. *sigh* Finally I called another number for a company with a similar name ... it looked like they were a multi-location company. The woman who answered, did not use the company name I was expecting. I explained who I was, and who I was looking for ... and she very graciously explained the company I was trying to track down was no longer part of this business group AND the company name had changed. Then she gave me the phone number. It was different than all the others.

I went back to the GM's office to try and get it all squared away. As soon as I told him it was a problem with the phone number he just stared at me. "No! Really ... it's wrong! X person entered it wrong and there are four other numbers in the database and NONE OF THEM MATCH ... and none of the names match either," I said in exasperation.

"Watch," he said. "I bet I can dial number and make it work," he said laughing and picking up his phone. I turned and walked out of his office without saying a word.

I know I should have laughed. I know I should have seen the comedic circumstances. ME! The dyslexic one being upset because someone else entered a number wrong. AS IF there's any chance I'd dial the number right the first time, no matter WHAT group of numbers were placed in front of me.

But I couldn't get there. I couldn't laugh with him or at myself.

I just feel angry and stupid.

And that was my day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So "that's" why you don't use the calling card !! *O* How many minutes are left unused ? Send it back and ----- forget it ! *~* tp