Thursday, December 2, 2010

How to Handle Phone Calls

Do you work at a job where you have to answer the phone? Are the people always wanting things? Do you feel confused, frightened, or hungry? Do you suffer phone related breakdowns, often soiling yourself in the process?

If so, don't despair!

The constant terror that comprises your waking life is finally over! Here at Blue Sun Consulting, we're developed a list of ten best practices for handling phone calls at health insurance providers, cell phone carriers, every government office ever, and anywhere they have phones. If you simply adopt these practices, we guarantee suicide rates will drop by as much as 5%!*

1.) You do not have what the customer wants, whatever that is. You may tell them your department does not keep those records; that you're too busy with other requests; or that they have been destroyed as part of an archival reclamation process, a unique method of burning all documents as soon as they arrive.

2.) Be effusive about how much you do not have what they want. Use words from the 1920's to express your dismay that some dumb mook would even think such a heap of baloney. Gee golly, what do they think this is?

3.) Do not respond to polite attempts at conversation, or even questions about how you're doing today. The person on the other end of the line just wants this information so they can find you and take your skin.

4.) If you're feeling playful, redirect the caller to departments they've already spoken with. Tell them the people in those departments are liars, and that they sit atop a veritable mountain of the documents the caller needs. Repeat as often as necessary!

5.) Lunch lasts from 11 until 3, and will be known to callers as "working on an important project." During this time, employees are expected to disapparate or become intangible, rendering themselves invisible to all human senses and sensory perception devices, such as radar, sonar, thermal imaging, and S.O.C.K.

6.) As per number five, everyone is away from their desks - always.

7.) As soon as the call is over, it never happened. Anyone that claims to have spoken with you before is misinformed, a liar, or a treacherous man spider from Rydigon VII, which orbits the star beyond seeing.

8.) When communicating with the caller, answer all questions as if you were the only employee, and the office consisted of a dark closet in the Claire's of an abandoned shopping mall.

9.) Most callers will try to give you a seven character ID number, as listed on all our external documents. This is useless, as the actual system is a Byzantine nightmare of encrypted hexadecimals in trinary code, which consists of zeros, ones, and a digit unpronounceable by human tongues.

(Some employees have had their tongues removed to interface with this system, which also renders them unable to answer the phones. The problem is the solution with Blue Sun Consulting!)

10.) Lastly, remember our motto: Obfuscate and Confuse.

If the person on the other end of the line follows all the steps, here's how helpful your conversation can be:

"Hello, this is Steve Wilson calling about a boring, complicated, and/or time consuming thing you don't want to do."

"Hello Steve, this is Helen at the District Court Clerk's Office. You're right, I don't want to do that thing you want me to do."

"Great! So, how soon do you think you can take no action on this whatsoever?"

"We're pretty busy today, but I think I can start ignoring this around 1, maybe 1:30. I have a lot of surreptitious internet browsing to do, and later I was thinking about pretending to go to the bathroom as an excuse to sneak out and walk around the block."

"Okay, I'll let the executive that needs this know I've called and you're going to get back to me."

"I'll make sure not to do that, and when you call back in abject frustration, I will have moved departments, deleted this request, and gone into the witness protection program."

"That's all I can ask for Helen, thanks so much!"

"You're welcome! And I'll only be Helen for another few hours, tee hee hee!"
Inquire today for full size posters of the list to hang around your office, or in-house training conducted by our celebrity coach, Gilbert Gottfried!

* (+/- 10% error ratio)


  1. ahh, memories of the classics from the days of dental schooling.

  2. This was written before I learned to revise my expectations when making a phone call, i.e. accept with a Zen-like serenity that nothing would be accomplished.