Tuesday, June 12, 2007

how to answer the phone without actually having a conversation with someone

we have been closed for three weeks and you can imagine how well our hellish patrons are behaving now that we have re-opened. for instance, this morning a charming elderly woman left a message on the answering machine where she just shouted over and over again in an obnoxiously jappy voice (i hate to insult my own people, but there you go) "ARE YOU OPEN? ARE YOU OPEN? ARE YOU OPEN?" now i am sure that you, my beloved and non-mentally-retarded blog readers, understand that an answering machine is a one-way communication device. a person leaves a message, then at a later time another person hears said message. it is not a device in which to shout questions in hopes that if you are loud enough the answering machine will miraculously answer your question. that is not the type of answering the machine does. maybe this is a case of improper naming.
as you could imagine, after hearing this message i was not too excited to be answering our many many morning phone calls hearing the same thing over and over and over again: "are you open? are you open? my books are late. it's not my fault. no i could not return them to one of the other 80 something branches in the city. i will only go to hell's library." blah blah blah.
so i devised a clever scheme. this is what happens when you put someone of high intelligence (me) in a place where they don't let you do anything smart (hell's library) ... they devise clever schemes to amuse themselves. so my clever scheme was to pretend to be a recording when i answered the phone. i would say in a very monotone voice: hello, you have reached Hell's Library. starting today, we will be resuming normal business hours. we will be open today from 10 am to 6 pm. if you need further assistance please press "1" now."
this worked fairly well. i'd say about half the people just hung up. but alot of the people who pressed "1" (or maybe they pressed a different number as all the numbers sound the same to me) still asked if we were open and if we were open what time we were open until. obviously, they were unable to decipher my cryptic message. but i stand by this clever scheme and i encourage all to use it if there is a suitable need. you will thank me later.

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