Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Psssst! Are You There?

          I was shopping at a drugstore the other day, and noticed a dry shampoo that’s been around for years, called Psssst.  Yes, that’s four Ss in a row.  I guess they want to make sure you can imitate an aerosol can.
          And it got me to wondering, how does one answer the phone at this business?  I picture a well-meaning guy or girl in their twenties, picking up the phone and saying, “Psssst.”
          You, on the other end, aren’t quite sure if someone picked up—was that static?  Did you even hear anything at all?  You wait, maybe they do it again, and finally you hang up.
          Answering the phone at a business has never been a slam dunk.  There are lo-o-o-ong law firm names, listing everybody but the window washer, and other companies who just didn’t think this through. (And yes, I realize the parent company might have employees answer, “Woodbridge Labs,” but eventually you’re going to have to ask for someone who can say the product name, and we’re back where we started.)
          I imagine other companies whose receptionists struggle. How about the folks at the laundry product, Shout?  You call a number and the person tells you to shout, so then do you?

          Zep is a cleaning product, but if someone picks up the phone and says it, you might think they said, “Zup?” as in “what’s up” and then say, “Oh, not much, how about you?”
          Kaboom, another cleaner, might be tough to respond to.  (“Shaboom?”)  And what if the receptionist works for the hair product and says, “Go Away Gray,” and what if your last name is Gray? I guess you just hang up.
          Of course, I’m not really one to talk.  Years ago St. Bob and I developed the cleaner/degreaser, Holy Cow, and you need just the right person to answer that phone.

Thankfully none of my books require receptionists to answer the phone—you just quietly order them here, just in time for Mother's Day. 

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