I've been given new duties at work which include being,our "central operator" for the first four hours of the day. This basically means I answer all the phone calls for those four hours. I answer questions, cancel and schedule appointments, and transfer calls.
People are making my brain hurt daily. I have this conversation a lot:
Caller: My phone says I have a missed call from you.
Me: Okay, most of the time thats fron one of our receptionists calling to confirm an appointment. Did they leave you a message?
Caller: I don't know. I didn't check.
Me: Okay, do you have an appointment with us today or tomorrow?
Caller: Maybe. I don't remember.
Me: Who would it be with if you did?
Caller: I'm not sure.
I then go through several people's schedule and find the appointment. Then see that the caller only had one provider. Only one person the appointment could be scheduled with.
But the thing is, if they would check their messages first, the whole conversation could usually be avoided. The receptionists always leave messages with the appointment time and provider name.
Years ago, the business where I interned over the summer during college hired me back over Christmas break, and at the end of that time I filled in as the receptionist. It was a testing lab that did one of the last tests (efficacy) before a new drug could be released. So there was a lab, a clinic, and administration. Our main phone number was only 1 digit off from the AAA office up the street. One day...
Me: <name of company> how may I help you?
Caller: Um, I'm looking for <name of person that I don't recognize>
Me, while scanning the personnel list: May I ask which department they work in?
Caller: Um, I don't know.
Me, taking a shot: Could they be in the lab?
Caller: Um, I don't know.
Me: I'll be right back, please hold.
I page the lab and get a call that no one works there by that name.
Me: I'm sorry, the person does not work in the lab. Could they be in the clinic, as either a patient or a technician?
Caller: I still don't know.
Me: OK, please hold.
I page the clinic and get a call back that they don't have anyone there by that name.
Me, who knows the person does't work in admin, since there are only 6 and I know them all: I'm sorry but I'm not finding them in the clinic. Maybe they are scheduled for a trial and it hasn't taken place yet, or their trial is over? Can you give me any more info? What did you need to talk to them for?
Caller: They said they'd get me some Trip Tiks for my trip this next week and I need to know if they're ready yet.