Phones are scary things.
This week, I faced my greatest challenge yet. No, not navigating summer road construction– the office phone system.
I am glad to report that it’s not just me who feels intimidated by phone-answering. My fellow interns are also apprehensive about this aspect of our position.
Dealing with real-live people is a chance to see the human face (or hear the human voice more like) behind all the casework we’ve been sorting. But it’s also a wild card situation.
While I might worry about writing the wrong thing in a letter, I know that I have a second chance to correct it, someone else to look over it for me, and a barrier between my writing and its dissemination. I can choose the right words and use them precisely how I want to.
Phones don’t have that. They are direct and instant. And (therefore) scary.
It’ll also be a test of patience and observation skills; we’ve been told to observe how others in the office answer the phones and the criteria they use to record calls.
The phone is the newest aspect of the internship; it’s something I’ve only had to do occasionally in other jobs I’ve held. I think it’s easier to deal with the public when you’re with them in person; I’m looking forward to overcoming my trepidation about dealing with the public as disembodied voice. I think it will be a great opportunity for growth and a way to understand all the aspects of this job.
Also, as a French major I am compelled to say: Happy Bastille Day!
Vive la France, vive l’Amérique, et vive l’amitié entre les deux pays!
(Long live France, America, and the friendship between the two countries!)