Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Voice hurts. Ear hurts. Need wine.

Today, through some management error, there were 6 people on annual leave and 4 on training. This left precisely 3 of us in the office (plus the Director who isn't part of the group phone log-in). And the phones went mad. Seriously mad. I was picking up, speaking, hanging up and picking up straight away as the queue built up and call after call came in. The problem is that our number is printed on the prospectus, on the course information leaflets and at the bottom of every course information page on the web, so people think we're the switchboard. Lots of the calls we get aren't even for us, but we're so big on customer service that we try our best to help them anyway and find out who they need to be transferred to. At one point David and Trusha were both on lunch, and I was our entire office and therefore basically half the switchboard! By the end of the day my voice hurt from talking, my ear hurt from the phone and I was so frustrated that I hadn't had time to get all of my normal work done - I wouldn't mind if I worked in a call centre and answering the phone was all I did, but I have to answer the phone and do everything else as well. Somehow I also managed to clear the office inbox (180 emails, I don't know how I did it!), do my daily accommodation spreadsheet and get over half of my open day mailing done.

On the plus side, David who was the duty officer for the day told our Director that I'd answered the majority of the calls and had done an excellent job, and she herself told me that I was a star and that she'd been listening to me all day and I'd done really well. She also gave me a lift home and told me to open a bottle of wine, and I decided that I deserved it so I'm currently enjoying a bottle of white (well, as much as you can enjoy something that cost £4.99) and the feeling of a job well done. I can even find job satisfaction in a really frustrating day...I must have something right somewhere.

So glad 3 people are back from leave tomorrow though...


Em said...

Isn't it so true about the phone getting in the way of "real" work? I took my laptop home today just to get away from the obnoxious phone calls...And it's a holiday weekend!

Sarah said...

So true... sometimes I really wish I could work from home just to escape the phone. I don't mind the calls where people genuinely need advice - it's what I'm there for - but the ones where they just haven't read the information we've sent them or the ones that aren't even for us are just so irritating!