Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Perils of Phone Communication


Story: The perils of a telecommunications company.

Once upon a time, there was this company called Teletech. And there was this guy named Juan that worked for this company. And there was also this girl named Chelsea--the guy's ex-turned-quasi-friend (coz there's alot of junk going on and miscellaneous blah-blah)--who wanted to get a hold of him at said Teletech company because he didn't give her his apartment keys after brunch, though she wanted to move some of her stuff out while he was at work, but was unable to do so without keys to the apartment. She was moving her stuff out of the apartment and preparing to go back to Korea after a near two-week vacation in her hometown.

Anyhow, as you can imagine, he worked as a 'tech-by-telephone' for this company: answering phone calls, problem solving and possibly dealing with irrate customers. Irrate is probably an understatement for the day Chelsea tried contacting Juan at this Teletech company..

So this particular day, Chelsea called Teletech to get a hold of Juan to try and get the apartment keys that he had forgotten to give her. A recorded operator started speaking: If this is a family emergency, push 1. If not, and this is not of an emergency nature, we will not message an employee.. blah blah blah. Chelsea pushed one. Then an operater answered, asked where to direct the call, and without further adieu, Chelsea thought about what she wanted to say to Juan. Another operator- this time superviser - picked up the line and asked if this was a family emergency. Yes, it is. I must get a hold of Juan Morey. The superviser confessed he didn't know who that was. Why? Can't you just transfer me, Chelsea wondered. No, you called an employee sick line. Well, yeah, I'm calling to talk to Juan and I need to talk to him. Let me transfer you, the superviser says, to Human Resources. They should be able to connect you to Juan. Ok, maybe I'll get to talking to him, finally, Chelsea thought.

Moments later, another operator answered the line: Teletech Human Resources, how can I help you? Can I speak to Juan Morey, please? Who?, the person on the other end of the line replied. Juan Morey, M-O-R-E-Y. I just dropped him off at work an hour ago. How could you not know him? Well, this place is big, there are alot of employees, and besides, I'm not able to transfer the call to employees. We can only take messages. What?! How do family members get through if there's an emergency, and they must speak to one of the employees there? So this isn't a family emergency, the Human Resources person said to Chelsea. Well, of course, for crying out loud! I just want to know how in the world I'm able to just speak to Juan Morey. I've spend more than 20 minutes on the line trying to talk with him. Now can you put me through or not?? Well, let me transfer you. I'm sure you'll be able to talk to him.

5 seconds later and cotton mouth forming from speaking in an exassperated tone, Chelsea heard, once again, the initial recorded operator that she heard when she first made the call to Teletech. The last part of the recorded message said, please leave a message after the tone.

And with that, Chelsea left a major complaint about such telecommunications company not being able to connect her to a Teletech employee.

Ah... the perils of phone communication. I guess this is how people respond to emergencies in a company where people are too used to communicating on the phone.
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