Hello, I'm a person...

Hello, my name is Esprix. It is not “the new guy,” nor “the temp” - I have a name, and since I do like it so much (after all, it was a precious gift from my parents especially for me), I would be just tickled pink if you’d use it. Use a mnemonic if you’re having trouble remembering it, if it helps you any.

Yes, I am the lowly receptionist. Worse yet, I am a temp. However, it might behoove me to explain to you that “temp” is not short for “contempt,” which is what you seem to show me as you pass through the lobby. I work for you just as much as your secretary and all of the ladies in the back that do your grunt work on your every whim, including digging through files and pullling up information on the computers that, yes, we know you have the capability to do, but you are too unintelligent, uneducated or stubborn to do yourself. It would be to your advantage to remember that if we indeed did not do these things you ask (and by rights we could ostensibly teach you how to do it and make you do it yourself) you would not get them done at all, because, as pointed out, you may indeed be too unintelligent, uneducated or stubborn. Furthermore, I’m the one that answers each and every one of your incoming calls - treating me disrespectfully does not make my job any easier, and any frustrations I have with you may cause me to not go that extra mile for your clients, such as scouring the office when they are looking for you and you have (accidentally, I’m sure) forgotten to tell me that you were leaving, or would not be back, or just decided to take a four-hour lunch break. Voicemail is nice, but no doubt your clients will tire of it quickly, so be nice to me and I will help you out in any way I can.

No, I do not make as much money as you. This, however, does not make me a lesser person. The fact of the matter is that you know absolutely nothing of me, except that I am the receptionist. Do you know I just moved here from Philadelphia? Do you know that I am a singer and sometimes actor? Do you know I can as easily engage in conversation about office politics as I can about the state of world affairs, or human rights issues, or many, many other topics you might wish to discuss. You might want to give it a try, instead of looking down your nose at me.

And I might add to those clients that call in, if you are unprepared, do not make me seem the fool because of your ineptitude. Not one, but two of you called in today and had no policy number, didn’t know your agent’s name, didn’t have any social security numbers, and the names of the family members about whom you were inquiring were as generic as “John Smith,” so trying to find the specific one to which you are referring is near impossible. And if you have the paperwork in front of you, please do not be irritated when I have to put you on hold while you are tying me up for 20 minutes while you search for the very, very basic information I need to help you, information you should already have at your fingertips (see the list I just quoted). I operate a switchboard, and calls come in constantly, so yes, I will be required to put you on hold probably several times if you’re going to tie me up for more than the thirty seconds it would normally take me to forward you to the person who actually can help you (whose name you have either forgotten or neglected to write down). If you’d had all the necessary information as soon as you dialed the phone, you wouldn’t even be talking to me at all. Really, I need the information so I can help you. Oh, and if I transfer you to someone who can help you and they are unavailable and you get their voicemail, pressing zero and coming back to me to “find a live person,” or to ask me if they are in today? I’m sorry, but I cannot “find a live person,” as I am unable to leave my desk, because, as I previously mentioned, I have many other calls to answer aside from yours; similarly, I do not keep anyone’s schedule except my own (Monday through Friday, 8:30 am until 5:00 pm sharp, if you must know), but I can tell you one thing - if you got their voicemail, they are not in. And, yes, no matter how much you may protest, your agent is the only person able to help you - I am not an agent, I cannot help you, and if it were that urgent, you should have taken care of it sooner.

Back to my fellow co-workers - please, feel free to say hello as you pass through the lobby. I do not bite, growl, snap, or condescend. As a receptionist, it’s my job to be friendly to everyone, and, believe it or not, that means you as well. If you are Spanish-speaking, you can even say, “Hola!” or “Como estas?” I have been here long enough to understand what you mean. Once you get to know me (as I mentioned before you most assuredly do not), you’ll find I’m quite pleasant and friendly, and, although it is unprofessional of me to admit it, I will treat the work you need me to do for you with more respect as a result.

Finally, I have only been at this job for a few weeks. Despite your impressions that just anyone could do my job, it’s not true, and so, yes, I will be making a few more mistakes before I become as perfect as you. So, when I do make a small error, please do not either berate me, belittle me, nor condescend to me. I promise, now that I know how this minor inconvenience has upset your delicately balanced day, I will certainly never repeat it again.

Is there anything else I’ve forgotten?


What about being the “Gay Guy”??? Doesn’t that count for SOMETHING?!

Oh no they wouldn’t like to give that a try. Because they already have you figured out. You are a mindless drone, with no brain, and no life outside of your job. To muddle this concrete impression that they cling to with things like “details” and “facts”, (like you are a talented, intelligent person) would just be too much. God Forbid they do that. It’s much nicer to their own egos and senses of superiority to just consider you a bland underling. Because if they find out you are smart (maybe - God Forbid, smarter than them) or that you have talents (talents they don’t have) where does that leave them? It leaves them with the reality that they are maybe petty, small, bland boring people. And they can’t have that.

So, hey! You! Back to underneath your rock! You are a drone! You have no mind! Come, fetch and carry! You piece of nothing, you!

[sub]Naw - I have NO idea what it feels like to be in your shoes - NO idea at all…[/sub] :wink:


See this typo:


Esprix ,
I’m reminded of a series of Dilbert strips where Ratbert is a temp. They put him in a cardboard box in the hallway and call it his “office”, then everyone basically abuses him. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been treated that way as a Network Administrator because I work part-time.

For what it’s worth, I always make sure our temps are invited to company functions and lunches. They always get birthday cake and I ask how their weekend was. Some of us try, and I’m sorry to hear you work for dolts who are missing out on a possible friend by dissing you.


Oh, poor Esprix [bringing him a nice cup of Maple Walnut tea]. The only people who are treated worse than receptionists are TEMP receptionists. I used to be there myself, so I know what you mean. Sometimes it helps if you can keep your coworkers a little off-balance and afraid of you—I’m sure you’re up to THAT.

I also used to keep myself from going insane by answering each phone line in a different comical vaudeville accent: French Maid for line 1, Irish Cop for line 2, Cockney Flower Girl for line 3, etc.

…and I’m a part-time receptionist, and was a part-time temp receptionist before I managed to be hired.
Believe me, I know of which you speak. I’ve had a worse job, though. I was a temp file clerk. I’ve had to do heavy filing before, but not 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are people that would be perfectly happy doing that job, but I am not one of them, unfortuantely.
They’ll come around eventually. I know that it’s like beating your head against a stone at first, but if you’re one of the lucky ones you might get a response before you manage to go unconscious.

Whoops. It only felt like seven days a week. Actually, it was five.
I’m so glad that it’s Friday.

Spree snookums, it’s not your job, it’s your workplace.

I once interned at this fabulous publishing company (I did filing, research, translation, proofreading, receptioneering, coffee runs, light tidying and other scut work). And everyone treated me super nice. Even when I screwed up once and told someone loudly, “There’s a guy here to see you!” rather than “There’s a gentleman here to see you!” I was corrected gently and never made that mistake again :slight_smile: What a great place to work.

I would therefore stick this out, correct the most grievous assaults, and remember that the next temp job may be better. And if that doesn’t work, I could always mail myself to you and give you an in-office quickie to cheer you up. [/required flirt]

Well, you’ve oviously never seen _________ (insert evidence proving that you are in fact an alien cyborg designed explicitly for temp work).

I say, sit behind the desk with a large threatening shotgun, prop your feet up, and see if they don’t show some respect…

…errr, that would be a bad idea. Nevermind.

Yeah, Myrr. It’s just not professional to put your feet up on the desk. Geesh.

Plus, by not getting to know Esprix, they’re missing out on the hottest action in San Diego.

I was seriously thinking about starting a thread identical to this one. I’ve been covering reception at my workplace because of a recent layoff - even though, when I was hired, I specifically said I never wanted to do reception, not even relief. Ah well. I need the paycheck. Anyway, some things you didn’t mention - the asschunks that upon receiving voice mail, opt back to the reception desk to grace me with thoughtful queries such as:

“Yeah, I got Joanne’s voice mail. Is she at her desk?” Gosh, you saw right through my clever ruse! Joanne is standing right by her phone, frantically waving her hands at me and mouthing the words “Hang up on that pencil-dicked asshole” - but since you were so perceptive, I’ll get her right on the line for you!

“Well, how long is Sharon going to be on her phone?”
Miss Cleo and her tarot estimate 10 minutes.

Or my all-time favorite opening question:

“Hi, I’d like to talk to Jennifer.”
Would you like me to conference you with all seven of them, snapchest?

I really, really hate reception.

Esprix: Your new title is now matt_mcl’s wicked west coast sex poodle.

Feel free to put it on all your business cards, stationary, and your forehead. (;

Now… let those slugs at your office try and ignore THAT!

That wouldn’t be good either. Because matt_mcl is a [sub]canadian[/sub]

I hope I didn’t screw that up:)

Ahh… if only I worked at Esprix’s company. I’d hang around the reception desk until he was totally sick of me, making puppy-dog eyes, and little sighing noises, and sending him mysterious anonymous gifts of chocolate and flowers until HR caught on, and I was drummed out of the company for sexual harrassment, and had to go live under a bridge.

Perhaps it’s for the best.

Anyway, there is one consolation. It’s a temp job; by definition, temporary. And when you leave, it sounds like the asshole quotient there will go up to about 100%.

Good luck.

I was a temp receptionist and they LOVED me…They wanted me full time but since I was completing my MCSE courses I respectfully declined…you make shit loads more in the computer field. While I was working part time here in C Springs, I drove here about twice a week from the Denver area, they even called me and had me fill in when they had a hard time finding someone to answer the phones.

They were a great group of people and they loved my ability to answer the phones. I actually miss that job.

BTW, it depends a lot on the company you are working for. It was a tight-knit mortgage company. Even though I was not invited to all their things I still felt like I belonged there.

Whenever I start to take our receptionist for granted (and I don’t, often–she’s wonderful) she’s out for a day and I get to listen to the phone ring all day as we each take turns (informally) covering the calls. I can’t get a damn thing done and it’s a perfect reminder of how damned important her job is.

Did you get placed through an agency? If so, I’d let the agency know (when the gig is over) that the atmosphere ain’t so keen there for temps.

OK, in an attempt to make myself unpopular:[list=1][li]Many companies (such as the one I am just about still working for) have at times an incredible turnover of certain members of staff. In particular we went through a period of about 6 temp receptionists in 6 weeks. Yes, by the time we got to the 6th I wasn’t making quite as much effort to get to know them as the 1st. Frankly, it became tiring. I offer this as a reason, more than an excuse, because in an ideal world I would try to get to know everybody I come across. But when you’re busy, stressed and have your mind on other problems, sometimes you don’t feel like stopping to ask about this week’s receptionist’s boyfriend.[/li]
[li]In response to your [/li][quote]
It would be to your advantage to remember that if we indeed did not do these things you ask (and by rights we could ostensibly teach you how to do it and make you do it yourself) you would not get them done at all, because, as pointed out, you may indeed be too unintelligent, uneducated or stubborn.
barb about tasks such as filing and other such “grunt work… including digging through files and pullling up information on the computers”, I will merely point out that my time costs clients about £125 an hour and I’m not convinced that they are happy to spend that money to have me file.

[li]For Potter’s sake man, break up yer paragraphs a bit for us. A solid wall of computer text is not the most pleasant of reading experiences![/list=1]Sorry to come across as a bit of an arse, but I felt it my duty to point out that the people on the other side of that desk may have their reasons.[/li]