I cannot help overhearing a VERY exasperated conversation going on in the office next to mine. A colleague is having difficulties with the software package that our campus uses. [Hint: this is from a major company that supports many large universities in their online course offerings...] He spend quite a bit of time explaining the problem with the support tech. The tech was quite helpful, took all the information, offered several workarounds, and when those did not pan out, the tech put my colleague on hold, first giving a phone number "in case we get disconnected."
My colleague waited on hold for twenty minutes. And sure enough, he got disconnected. He dialed the number he had been given, only to be routed through to a completely different tech who wanted to start the whole process over again. Naturally, my colleague was a bit put out.
"Listen: I just spend twenty minutes going over the problem with XXXX, and another twenty minutes on hold. Why can't you put me through to XXXX?"
"I don't know who XXXX is."
"What do you mean, you don't know the other people working in your group? "
"No. You're going to have to start over again."
"That's ridiculous, I'm not going to spend another half-hour working through this problem with a complete stranger when XXXX has all my details --and you're telling me you don't know who XXXX is!!??"
At this point, the conversation grew slightly heated and my colleague now found himself transferred to a supervisor --who, not so surprisingly, also didn't know who XXXX was.
"So you're telling me that as the supervisor, you don't know who XXXX is, who works underneath you and answers to you?"
"Sir, if XXXX didn't give you an extension or a last name, I can't do any more than what I've already done."
"But XXXX DID give me a number and it put me through to YYYY, who has now dumped me off on you. Can YOU give me a last name?"
"No, sir, company policy prohibits that."
[And at this point one could hear the *palm* across the office.]
"Did you listen to what you just told me, at all?!? You said to ask for XXXX's last name next time, and then you just said that your company's policy forbids giving out last names. Maybe company policy needs to change a bit, perhaps?"
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