Because I’m a fan of hard-hitting journalism, I’m gonna drop some knowledge on you today about the under-represented world of receptionisting. ‘Cause even though it’s definitely not the worst job out there, there’s so much more going on than you ever probably considered.
1. The phone will never ring. You will sit there for hours at a time, alone at the front desk, while the lawyers and other employees are frolicking and having a great time in the back, and the phone will not ring. Until you start to do something.
Oh, you’re just getting into a riveting and complex article (about the politics of red-carpet dresses that led to a catfight between young starlets)? Rrring.
Oh, you’re trying to fill out yet another job application on a time-sensitive website so you can try and make something of your life? Rrring.
Get up to go to the bathroom because you’re about to pee your pants? Rrring.
Dying of thirst that you’ve avoided dealing with for fear the phone would ring while you’re in the kitchen? Rrring.
2. People will want to tell you every little detail of their case, why they’re calling, the dates and times of when they’ve call before, what they thought about before making the call, and possibly their lunch order. When you try to put them on hold after minute four so you can answer the other three lines that are suddenly ringing (see above), they will become miffed.
3. People will assume you’re some sort of paralegal/personal assistant/slave hybrid and try to make you deal with paperwork, explain legal concepts to them, or ask you about their attorney’s thoughts, feelings, and strategies. When you tell them you’re just the receptionist, they will probably not believe you, become unreasonably irate, or say “well. . . can’t you just do it anyway? I mean, what else are you doing?”
4. Some people will talk so loudly it’s like you’re communicating through tin cans on a string and they have to shout to be heard.
5. When leaving a message, 38% of people will talk like so: “TellhertocallDanTzatzikialabouttheReyes/Smithmattermynumberis3105555432andmycellis3105559876andIcanbereachedattheofficebetween11:30and12:45andmycellbetween1:27and4:43. Great, thanksbye.” If you ask them to repeat something (because unfortunately you don’t understand chipmunk-speed), you will be met with a deep sigh and an exasperated answer. Cause clearly you’re a fucking idiot.
6. Approximately 76% of people will not give their name when asking to speak to whoever they’ve called for. When you ask who’s calling, they will simply say “Dan”. And when you politely ask Dan who?, because your bosses have asked that you stop patching through calls from one-name people they don’t know or don’t want to talk to, you will be met with a deep sigh and an exasperated answer. Cause clearly you’re a fucking idiot.
7. You will be so bored you will actually look forward to the mail delivery so you can sort it. When they are late and don’t arrive before you close for lunch, you will be aggravated.
Upon realizing this, you will wonder when your life got to this point.
8. Sometimes, crazies will call. These are the best times.
A dude will ask you if anyone in the office does indecent exposure cases. Even after you tell him no, he will detail for you exactly why he needs one. You’re well aware that by listening, you’re probably giving an unemployed perv his masturbation fodder, and this is hysterical to you. So naturally, you encourage him. You’re just helping a brother out. I mean, like that one caller said — what else are you doing?
Some dude will drunkenly ask you if your boss is hot, and if not, could you recommend a hot lawyer? Cause he really only wants a hot lawyer. With a good ass. That’s key.
See multiple variations of the above examples.
But they don’t happen nearly often enough.