Wednesday, March 26

Mike, in Sudbury....

As you can see from my personal description in the left hand column, I work for the Ontario Government. I get paid to do all sorts of monkey work. I'm an Administrative Support Clerk. I do filing, I answer phones, I register legal actions, I order supplies, I manage our fleet of crappy Dodge vehicles, I track assets, and I pretty much do whatever else management needs. Kind of like a Secretary / Personal Assistant.
Your Ontario Civil Servants are required to leave the following phrase, or a variation thereof, on their voice mail - "...or press zero to speak to an administrative assistant."
Every day I have many many calls. And many of these calls are from people who pressed zero, (several are also from friends, wrong numbers, or co-workers). What puzzles me is when people begin talking about their personal lives after I pick up the phone. I just don't understand why someone would call the Government regarding their sales tax, employer health tax, or corporations tax account, and begin telling someone a story when the phone is answered.
I get people calling me and saying something like, "Hi there, this is Mike from Sudbury."
I'm thinking to myself, "Good for you Mike, you know your name and your home town." Inevitably I say, "Okay?" and he will continue with, "I have a letter, can you help me?" Once again, I think something but don't say it, "A letter huh? Aren't you special." But I answer, "I'll try." And Mike proceeds to read me the contents of the letter, and begins to explain why he can't pay his taxes, or how we screwed up or something.
In all this time he has neglected to tell me his account number, the name of his business, or who he is trying to reach.
When I phone my bank I don't just say, "Hi this is Chip. I have some money, and I want to do this with it." I usually ask to speak to my representative, or give them my account number, or ask who I would speak to concerning my problem.
Maybe it's just me, or maybe the Government has really bad hold music which rots your brain. But honestly, why do people simply assume you know everything about them.
I would think there are a hell of a lot of Mikes in Sudbury.
Jeez.

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