Tag Archives: Business Etiquette

Eloise Calls the Robo Callers©

“Ring.”  When Eloise Simplekins picked up her phone, a robot voice said: “Hello. This is Jan.  Congratulations! You qualify for ….  Please press ‘one’ now to speak to a customer representative. Press ‘nine’ now if you wish to be removed from the qualification list.”

“Fiddlesticks!” said Eloise, and clicked her phone off.   It was the sixth robo call this week.  She had tried hanging up, she had tried pressing “nine,” but a salesperson always came on the line anyway.  She had pressed “one” and told the person who answered to take her off their list.  The person didn’t answer Eloise’s request.  All Eloise heard was a  click and a dial tone.

Eloise Simpelkins is plain—beginning with her name and continuing with her squat chunky figure, her thick unruly hair, her flat face, her squinty eyes, and her pug nose.  But she is very smart.

Years ago Eloise became a pre-cleaning lady for the women of La Mancha, that rich part of town where the streets are winding and the house numbers are hand painted on Spanish tile.  It embarrassed the women of La Mancha to have their cleaning ladies see poopy toilets in their husbands’ bathrooms, so Eloise became their pre-cleaning lady. But she became much more.  These women ached to reveal their foibles to someone.  Eloise was there every week and seemed discreet. She became their confidant, and the women rewarded her handsomely.  She invested wisely and became a wealthy woman.

Robot phone calls irked Eloise, and after she became rich they irked her even more.  When she couldn’t convince the “you qualify for…” robot voice organizations to quit calling her, Eloise turned to Hadley Wilkins for help.

Readers will remember Hadley “Cyberman” Wilkins. He’s the electronic engineer who helped develop cell phone technology.

“Hadley,” she said. “I need your help.”

“Say on, oh Wise One.”

“I get six to eight robot calls a week,” she said.  “If I hang up, they just call back.   I press the button and talk to a live operator but they still won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.  Hadley, I want you seek out the private phone numbers of the executives who run these robo-call outfits.   I’m going to give them a taste of their own medicine.”

“On it,” said Hadley.

Randall Egregious, the vice-president for operations at Techaly Communications, Inc., was relaxing in his den when the unlisted number on his cell phone rang.  The screen said “Mara Belle.”  Mara Belle Function was a Techaly  executive.  Egregious clicked on.

“Are you being pestered by robot telephone calls?” a robot voice asked.  “If you get robot calls seven days a week, please press one.  If you get robot calls…”  Egregious clicked the phone off, but the robo- voice continued talking: “If you get five or fewer robot calls a week, please press two,  if you get fewer than three  robot calls a week, please press star.  To repeat this message, please spell out “help,” on your keypad. ” Egregious hurled the phone across the room.  It slammed into the brick fire place and fell to the floor.  The robot voice continued to speak:  “If you are angry and frustrated and want to destroy your cell phone, please press the “tone” button.”  Egregious picked up the cell phone, ran outside, and threw it as far as he could.

He came back inside and turned on the television.  Instead of his favorite channel, the screen showed a television test pattern.  From the television speaker the robot voice intoned the same message.

Egregious ran to his car and sped to his office.  He called the company’s technology director at his home.

“George, this is Randall Egregious. I’m at the office.  How do I shut down the robot-call apparatus?”

“You can’t.  Don’t you remember?  You ordered us to create closed-circuit hardware and software that would, in your own words, ‘make robot calls forever.’”

Egregious clicked off and ran down the hall to the fire safety cabinet.  He yanked it open, grabbed a fire ax, ran back and smashed all the robot-call machines.

Then he scribbled, “I quit, Randall,” on a scrap of paper and taped it to the CEO’s office door.

-30-

Dr. Larry Day is a retired KU J-School professor turned humor writer. His book of humor columns, Day Dreaming: Tales from the Fourth Dementia,  is available on Amazon. You can also visit his website at www.daydreaming.co

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monkey Shines

Before he won the lottery, Lee Jones’s life was as ordinary as
his name, and J. Pennington Whitley’s life was as lustrous as his
name. The two worked at the same place: Whitley International,
Inc. Jones was a clerk in Accounts Payable, and Whitley, scion of
the venerable Whitley family, occupied a corner office in the
executive suite on the top floor of the Whitley Building.
They met once when the head of Accounts Payable, put a
sealed manila envelope in Jones’s hand and walked him over to the
executive elevator. His boss told Jones, “Hand this to Mr. Whitley
personally.” The elevator rose, the door slid noiselessly open, and
Jones saw for the first time in his life what a corporation’s executive
suite looks like. He didn’t get a chance to look around because J.
Pennington Whitley was standing at the elevator door, waiting for
the envelope. Jones placed it in his hand and went back to work.
Jones was in his mid-thirties at the time and had been with
Whitley International, Inc. since he was 16. He had started in the mail
room and had gone to night school and taken online courses until
he had a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and a master’s degree
in finance. In addition to his degrees Lee Jones had a gift for
corporate finance that was far beyond the scope of his classmates
and contemporaries in vision and spunk. While he slogged away in
Accounts Payable, Jones developed a powerful but exotic fiscal
process that, if implemented, would put Whitley International, or any
other similar corporation, far ahead of its competitors.
Jones knew that he needed a boost up the corporate monkey
tree from someone who was solidly established in the executive
suite. His meeting with J. Pennington Whitley, gave Jones the
opportunity to make his move. He decided to present his plan, in
detail, to Mr. Whitley, and arranged through friends higher up in the
Monkey tree to present his plan to Whitley in person. The result was
initially disastrous, but was ultimately it was eminently successful
Mr. Whitley, as it turned out, desperately needed a corporate
Hail Mary to save his hide. The shareholders were unhappy with the
recent performance of Whitley International, Inc., and were planning
to replace Whitley with a more dynamic and forceful leader.
Fortunately Jones presented his powerful project privately, almost
clandestinely to Whitley who realized immediately that the
corporate gods were smiling on him.
At that point Whitley did what top branch corporate monkeys
have been doing since time began. Whitley took credit for the
project and threw the smaller monkey out of the tree.
Jones, who had assumed he was destined for corporate
greatness found himself out on the street, sacked from Whitley
International, Inc. for reasons so bogus that the Human Relations
officer who fired him couldn’t even look him in the eye.
That ironically was the very day Lee Jones bought a lottery
ticket and chose a winning number worth $556 million. No one else
had chosen that number, so the whole prize was his.
Jones bought all the shaky Whitley International stock he could
lay his hands on. Whitley stock holders and investors virtually
trampled each other to sell the stock to him at the price he set. Then
he dismantled the company and sold it off in pieces. The last piece
of Whitley International, Inc. Jones sold was the Whitley Building
itself. Jones kept the top floors of the building and the executive suite
for himself. And he had several million dollars left after the last
government financial investigation was completed and the last
investor lawsuit was settled.
With that money Jones set up a foundation and gave young,
smart, unconventional entrepreneurs a leg up The Monkey Tree. The
enterprise was highly successful. In a twist that happens quite often in
real life, but rarely in fiction, one of the most successful of Jones’s
entrepreneurs was a young woman named Charlotte Whitley. She
was the daughter of J. Pennington Whitley. Ms. Whitley had moved
to the city from upstate New York where her father had settled down
on a horse farm.
-30-

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Business English

Verbosity wastes time and diminishes comprehension.

Use shorter versions of words and phrases:

Enclosed please find—Here’s

According to our records—We find

At an early date/At your earliest conveniences—Soon/Now

In the amount of—For

In the event of—If

In as much as—Since/Because

In our opinion—We believe

Etc, etc., etc.

–How to Think on your feet and Say What You

Mean—Effectively Communi-Vu, New York

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,