Thursday, April 13, 2006


Way back in the dark ages when I first started working here we had two receptionists. One worked Monday-Wednesday-Friday and the other one worked Tuesday-Thursday. The arrangement worked out very well until the younger receptionist decided she’d had enough of dealing with us morons and went back to college. Smart girl, that Marti.

And thus began a never-ending cycle of Receptionists That Suck. Once Marti was gone, the magic was gone with her. I can’t even tell you how many receptionists we’ve had – most of them barely tolerable and one was actually PERFECT. Oh, except for the fact that she was a compulsive liar who would do things like have a grandmother that died so she’d have to get the week off…and once you put it all together we finally figured out her grandmother had died at least seven times. But other than that, she was perfect.

About a year ago, we had a very nice lady named Linda who wasn’t perfect but she was a warm body to answer the phones. I think the biggest complaint about her was that she would call her daughter and talk baby-talk to her over the phone at least 10 times a day from the front desk. And I think her daughter was like 15 years old. After being here almost a year, suddenly one day she ran out of the building muttering something about not being able to answer the phones AND open mail AND greet visitors and that was the last time we saw her. I guess maybe she didn’t understand what a receptionist was supposed to do?

That’s when Broomhilda arrived on the scene. Think about the most obnoxious person you know, and then multiply it by at least 10. As I mentioned earlier, she has this annoyingly shrill northern accent that pierces your skull like a harpoon. Not to mention the fact that she is bossy, mean, and oh, did I mention generally incompetent? She does a decent job answering the phones, but when it comes to her other duties like sorting and distributing mail, she totally falls apart. She has been with our company for a year, and there are times that she still doesn’t know what a person’s job title is or she’ll put the wrong mail in the wrong mailboxes. Sure, it doesn’t sound like a big deal…but when you go almost three weeks without getting a single piece of mail or fax in your mailbox that actually belongs to you, it can wear down your soul.

Broomhilda is also an authority on absolutely anything on the planet. And will not hesitate to berate someone if they dare refute anything she deems as The Gospel of Broomhilda. One of my favorite moments involves her wagging her finger at one of the project assistants as she was running mail through the postage meter and saying “Shame on you, I know that you know better!”

And the paging…good Lord, the paging. Make it stop. Over and over and over again to the point where I want to pick up the intercom and scream, “For the love of all that is holy, please pick up line 50 before she drives me insane!”

Most days she is just mildly annoying. But then there are days when I pull up into the parking lot and see her stalking back and forth in front of the building, yelling at one of her (grown) kids on her cell phone. Then the hysterics are brought into the building and for the rest of the day she is in such a manic state that I feel like we need to use an elephant tranquilizer on her. Those days are simply unbearable. I happened to walk by the breakroom one day as she was hissing at one of her children on the phone, “I guess you will never appreciate all of the sacrifices that I have made for you.” Yikes. And she wonders why her kids don’t return her phone calls?

The funny thing is that she believes with all of her dark heart that everyone adores her. Funny what a little dose of delusion can do, huh? Anyhow, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some way to get a new receptionist that won’t involve a hitman or an unfortunate incident involving a large puddle and an electronic switchboard, but I’m coming up empty. If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to e-mail me. I’m counting on you to free us from our misery.

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