Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On the importance of answering the phone, and the OtherOman Automotive Awards

I have known the right way to answer a phone since I was Six Years Old. In Case any of you don't know how, it goes like this:

"Good Afternoon, Bahwan Toyota"


"Good Afternoon, Muscat Private Hospital, How Can I help You?"

Or Even:

"Hello, Photocentre Headquarters. This is Asma, may I help you?"

If you don't use English, It's still the same thing. Greeting, Name of Business, What do you need? It's the easiest thing in the world to do, and it makes an enormous impression on whomever is calling. So I Just can't figure out why the hell so many businesses seem to have hired receptionists who are too stupid or lazy to manage even that.

I went a little mental on Muscat Private Hospital last week, after trying off and on for three hours to book an appointment. I'd dial up, press 0 for operator assistance, and then the phone would just ring, and ring, and ring. Twice when the usless girl picked up, she answered with a bored and irritated "allo?" and then proceded to hang up on me while I was trying to ask With whom do I book an appointment for a sprained ankle.

Every single time I need to make an appointment at Muscat Private Hospital I have to go through this woman, or someone like her. Short of looking up the hospital website and saving the direct number for each department to my telephone, there is no way around wasting time waiting for this girl to answer the phone, and then maybe, maybe, maybe, put me in touch with the department I want to speak with.

It makes me think I would be better off putting my life in the hands of an orginazation capable of Answering A Telephone, and possibly an Orginazation that knows the difference between Gynecology and Plastic Surgery.

On to the next matter, Next week I want to do a post
"The Other Oman Automotive Awards!!!!"

Possible categories include : best tow truck driver, Best Parts Department, Best place to have your Useless Land Rover Worked on, Best Mechanic, Most annoying salesman, Worst marketing program, etc.... Nominations in the comments section, or on the Email. OTHEROMAN at gmail OK?

Site Admin issues: I have disabled anonymous commenting for the time being, because the concept of assigning yourself a name which you will use for commenting seems too difficult for some of my haters out there. Haters, You can hate all you wanna, but assign yourself a goddamn nick-name and use it. K?

If you want to comment in the meantime, go get yourself a blogger account. It's super easy, and you can still maintain total anonimity, so I am no more likely come to your house and kill you in your sleep or anything. I use Sitemeter and Google Analytics for that.

OK. I need to go pick up my car from the shop. Again.


sythe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sythe said...

I know... calling anywhere here is always a gamble, I hate people like that.

Best place to get your useless, (but has towed 5 Toyota's to date since owning it) Land Rover goes to 4WD center in Wadi Kabir. Gopi is a craftsman. As for Electrical stuff, there's a Turkish Electrical Automotive shop at the Blue Mosque R/A in Azaiba - where the Oman Oil is, just off the forecourt, near the detailing place, I forget his name, but his English is good, and he's very very thorough and everything he's done for me has been good, and hasn't broken again (unlike many other electrical people I've used). Credit where Credits due, and the Turkish dude is awesome.

L_Oman said...

Are you serious? Do you really expect the receptionist to identify the company you are calling and then on top of that say his/her name? Suburban, Suburban, Suburban...

I always identify myself and the co.'s name @ work and all my co-workers totally make fun of me. I guess I'm a dork.

The best thing to do next time is just say 'aloo' back and pause until they say something. See how many mute seconds pass. Have fun with it. :)

Undercover Dragon said...


Its always sad when that happens (stupid anon hate comments). I've had a few spammer commentators as well. But most of them are pretty thin skinned, so some abusive comments tended to scare mine off. Wankers.

But good post. Try calling the intercon hotel [24680000], and see if you have any chance at all of figuring out what they say. I guess its a funtion of the lack of competition, and the position is seen as a handy place to park your Uncle's stupid daughter who's never going to get married because she's so butt-ugly. (And that CEOs don't spend enough time calling their own receptionist!)

Best Auto Parts is Al Kiyumi Toyota Parts in Wadi Khabir. Grey imports of genuine Toyota parts from the UAE, without having to have Bahwaan screwing you.

Muscato said...

Oh, Dragon - and to think I thought I was the only one resigned to knowing I'd connected with the Intercon only by hearing the aphasic language-stew that passes for their receptionists' greeting!

But my favorite moment calling that esteemed hostelry came when I had to explain to the young lady that they in fact did have a restaurant called Tomato, and perhaps one of her colleagues could find the extension even if she couldn't...

Followed by [CLICK!], of course.

Undercover Dragon said...

LOL Muscato! And I thought I was the only one! ;-)

I think (after upteen gazzillion calls) they are saying...
intercon-hotel-how-may-I-help-you, but they compete to say it as fast as humanly possible. Which means its usually more like