Monday, June 9, 2008

"You've failed the very first test..."

So I receive a call from this french lad from Québec City. Nice chap. Courteous, fairly well-spoken and to the point. Says he: "I'm looking for information on employment opportunities with your organization". Not a problem. I offer him the address, phone, fax and e-mail address for that specific head regional office in Québec and the young fella takes down the address and the phone number.

I then offer to transfer his call directly to the office in Québec and ask if we hook up with this gentleman's voice mail, does he want to leave a message? "Certainly, I'll leave a message", he replies. So I transfer the call and sure enough, we meet up with the head HR person's voice mail. I transfer and hang up.

Not 2 minutes later, I get another call. It's this same lad. "Yes, you just transfered me to the office in Québec City. Do you have another number I can call there, to obtain the information I am looking for?" I advise him that for the information he is looking for, that is the only phone number we have for the offices in Québec City.

Now he begins this little dance of: "you can't fool me, you must be holding something back...". "But surely", he says, "in such a large and important building, there must be more than one person who can provide me with such"

I reply without missing a beat: "Oh, most assuredly there are, monsieur. For those who take the trouble to show up in person to enquire about hiring opportunities...". I swear I could hear Brian from TV's Family Guy in the background: "Baaaa-zzzzzzingg!!"

Congratulations! If I had anything to do with it, you would have just failed the very first test for becoming a federal employee. Anyone who thinks that they can get hired anywhere over the phone, is not only dreaming but probably too lazy to be considered for employment in any pseudo-responsible capacity. Let's face it... if you can't be bothered to take the trouble to show up, you're just not that interested, are you?

A final note... I have a hard time understanding how some callers develop the idea that we have information in front of us, which we don't want to share with them. The sole reason for being of most if not all government lines, is to provide callers with the most information possible. Why? It's just good customer service. That and it cuts down on the number of needless repeat callers. Believe me, if I have information that might be of use to you and it's within the mandate of my line to provide it to you, I absolutely will. Remember, my line and the limited amount of people who man it, provide information to the entire country, as well as entertaining queries from around the World. By phone and by e-mail. The very last thing we're going to do is to give someone a reason to call us back if they don't have to.

But maybe that's a subject best tackled in another post... sorta like a primer on government information lines...

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