Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What is your time worth...?

So I'm talking with this lad this morning, from Sudbury, Ontario. He says he needs a number for DFO in Sudbury. So I ask him, for which section of DFO, sir? For which program or service...? "For DFO', he states.

So I inform him that DFO is not exactly like Sears. There IS NO single number for "The DFO". I finally manage to haul out of him that he's looking to contact the Fish Habitat Management Program. Turns out he called us earlier and obtained the number for the local office in Sudbury, which I confirmed with him.

"Well I've been trying to reach that number for 4 hours now and there's no one there!!" I offer the e-mail address and the fax number as well, informing him about who we are, where we are and what information we provide. "I know all that", he rants... "I had a number for one of their biologists but he's on vacation right now. There is an urgent matter that has to be dealt with here and I can't get anyone on the phone!!"

Always the devil's advocate, I suggested logically that the offices themselves were in fact there for in-person service. "Yeah? Well there's no one there!!', he bellowed. "That biologist must have a supervisor", he pleaded. "Don't you have a number for him?", he asked. I had to advise him that there was no way that I could know the names of every DFO/CCG/CHS employee from one coast to the other, as well as their phone numbers. "You mean to tell me sir, that you have already physically gone to the DFO offices in Sudbury and you found absolutely nobody there...?", I asked incredulously.

"Well, no... I haven't been there, but I've been phoning and nobody answers the phone!" I suggested that perhaps the phone wasn't being answered because the staff on hand were occupied dealing with people who had actually showed up there. I further suggested that there is no way that I personally would waste 4 hours of my life on a phone, attempting to contact someone. My time, I advised him, is far too valuable for me to even consider doing something of that nature.

He then conceded that he had phoned once in the morning and then again three hours later. "So you're initial statement of having spent 4 hours trying to contact someone at that office, not so much?", I enquired. He admitted that it was so.

It constantly amazes me how lazy people have become, or how little their time means to them. No doubt there are those who will think nothing of actually spending hours on a phone, where there is no one to answer on the other end. Maybe because people have yet to realize that you can't get anything done over the phone. Most times, you just gotta be there...

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