Answering the Telephone

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foxmiles
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Answering the Telephone

Post by foxmiles » Wed May 30, 2012 2:22 am

Just had a call at 9:40pm. Some sort of survey. While they only had my attention for about 15 seconds it inspired me to create this flow chart for future reference when answering the telephone. (I get a kick out of flow charts).
telephone.png
How to answer the telephone
This might explain why so many people get my voicemail, see how much simpler the preferred option is?
Digging with a spoon will accomplish more than leaning on a shovel.

Jarod
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Re: Answering the Telephone

Post by Jarod » Wed May 30, 2012 5:08 pm

If I'd had this flowchart on Saturday I would probably still be doing apartment maintenance lol.

Similar thing. I'm fast asleep when someone calls my phone. first thought was someone called in sick, I have to work on Monday.

I was wrong. apparently an apartment flooded and there was water in all the electrical outlets, it was all over the walls and lights and the pipes were still leaking.
They want me to go over and check it out so they know if they should call a plumber or electrician. my total pay would be $11 for getting out of bed, getting dressed, driving to the apartments, opening the door and saying "yup, looks pretty bad. better call both"

So I called them back (This was my mistake) and said if they think its that bad why don't they just call the plumber and electrician now and let me sleep.
Their reply was basically I'm a cheaper option to make sure they need the plumber/electrician (This was their mistake) I then said I'm not getting out of bed for $11 bucks.

They then proceeded to say they'd have to call me back. half an hour later the main manager of the complex called me and asked if I received a call about going over. I said I sure did and there's not a chance I'm gonna go over there at 10pm for $11 bucks, any plumber, electrician, locksmith or any service company charges a service call that changes depending on the time of day and circumstances, nights are more than days, weekend is more than nights, holiday weekend is more still.

They didn't like that very much. So they hung up. the next day I got a call stating "my services were no longer needed" and the lady then begun a rather feeble attempt at making me feel bad for not going over in the middle of the night, so I repeated the whole plumbers get a service call rate, I'm fine with $11 per hour, but if you're gonna call me up in the middle of the night and expect me to jump out of bed, get dressed, start my car and use my gas to drive over and effectively look at something that is wrecked and confirm it is actually wrecked for $11 you've got to be out of your mind. she then retorted with "well you're not a plumber" so I said that's true but its the principle, not the actual scenario, that was a hypothetical situation.

she proceeded to repeat herself. well you're not a plumber.... (seems awful handy you haven't had to call a plumber, electrician or locksmith for anything since I've been working for you huh) so I figured maybe it was going to take a minute to sink in fully so I repeated myself at a slower pace thinking that might help.

This apparently was still not slow enough or perhaps not loud enough for it to click so I gave up trying to tell her I effectively am a plumber.

she then proceeded to tell me she thought it wasn't very nice I left her hanging on this flooded apartment thing. My contract never said I would have to be nice to anyone, It just said I would do the work that was requested within a reasonable amount of time.

I then began to explain I was sleeping and it wasn't very nice of her to wake me up, she again didn't catch that, so I told her I had no problem going to look at the apartment as I explained, but I wasn't going to go for $11 and that I'm providing for a family, and I can't play games running around in the middle of the night burning up my gas and depriving myself of sleep because $11 isn't going to pay any bill I have. she then began to tell me that when I took the job I knew it wasn't regular and wouldn't pay all my bills. I said yea I knew that but I was also told that I would have at least 3 days to schedule an appointment to repair whatever needed to be repaired. this was also unheard.

I decided I was talking to a brick wall with a mouth at this point so I stopped talking, stopped listening and just said "yep, uhhuh, sure, gotcha, etc" into my phone hoping I could hang up soon.

I'm betting they will be calling me within about 3 months because I already know nobody in town wants to work for them. they expect you to know how to do everything, have every tool you need and be available at the drop of the hat.

One of the "handymen" in town said he'd only work there if they triple their rate.

It really was more of an irritation than anything else so I'm fine losing it, I make more in a week with the window cleaning and lawn mowing I do than I earned in a month doing maintenance at the apartments.


Probably will do a vlog about it sometime as i think it could be rather humorous, but that'll be after I've got my voice back and feel good enough to focus on more than eating and sleeping and hoping I don't get called into work for the rest of the week.

foxmiles
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Re: Answering the Telephone

Post by foxmiles » Wed May 30, 2012 7:17 pm

Ha, yea sounds like you're better off without them. I agree with the handyman. I get $35/hr, $35 minimum and I'm cheap. I was going to raise my rates, but I'm moving now, so not much sense doing that anymore.

I worked for a plumber probably 8 years ago and we got a $50 service call in town and $25/half hour in town. Minimum bill was $75 to show up. I think the service call was $75 and $75/hr after hours.

We had one place where we always had a day's notice that we were going there. We would get a check for the previous balance and a phone call the next day to tell us what was broken. It might be a couple weeks or a couple months, they wouldn't pay us until they needed us again. I'd have insisted on 15% late fee per month. Or started holding the check until it cleared. "What? water spraying all over the place? Sorry, you have an overdue bill, we can't go until it's paid in full. Yes, I have the check here. No, you see we hold all checks for 10 business days as per our bank's policy. Sorry, we can't do any work for customers with overdue accounts until they are paid in full."

We also had a lawyer who had his bill delivered through the collection agency (he was supposed to try to collect the money). Honestly I think he just forgot about it, but we had a laugh over it.

If they call you back keep in mind what dad once told me: "If it isn't worth doing, don't do it". There are a lot of jobs like that. I remember thinking that about removing asbestos from windows 200ft up on scaffolding for, what was it, $10/hr? Not worth it.
Digging with a spoon will accomplish more than leaning on a shovel.

Tom
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Re: Answering the Telephone

Post by Tom » Wed May 30, 2012 10:17 pm

foxmiles wrote:If they call you back keep in mind what dad once told me: "If it isn't worth doing, don't do it"

Exactly my thoughts. I was saying the other day if they call me and want me to come do stuff I'll be either charging a $50 trip charge for every time i go over, plus $35 per hour. before 9am or after 5pm the charge goes up to $85/55 and weekends is $115/85 trip/hourly respectively, or if they don't like that then its $25 per hour and $300 per month if I come for 20 hours or not at all.

I know if they do end up calling me back they'll hang up as soon as they hear my demands lol

I don't think they'll find anyone dumb enough to do what they expected of me for what they pay and how irregular the work is.

foxmiles
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Re: Answering the Telephone

Post by foxmiles » Wed May 30, 2012 11:55 pm

The $300/month could actually be a good deal for them (though they may not see it). Think what 2 service calls at $150 each would cost. Even just to change a faucet washer or a light bulb. I'd make sure you had the option to not go, or have a minimum notice in writing, something like "will respond as soon as possible within 24hrs"

The trouble with jobs not worth doing is there is usually someone willing to do them. Perhaps they are hungrier that me. If you wonder where they are, look at the jobs that have a high turnover. Ever been to a store where there's always a "Help Wanted" sign out and you never see the same employees twice? It's not usually because they have all been promoted to management positions since last week.
Digging with a spoon will accomplish more than leaning on a shovel.

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