DISCLAIMER: I never act like this. Really, I don’t. This whole article is a product of my fevered imagination. It is a pack of lies.
Everybody knows about The Bastard Operator from Hell (a/k/a the BOFH).[i] Well, I figured if you can have a BOFH, you can also have a Bitch Receptionist from Hell. I nominated myself. Hell, I appointed myself. I don’t have to worry about anyone trying to muscle in, because nobody would want this job. So I have a perfect cover, with all kinds of great opportunities for creative mayhem directed at people who annoy me — in other words, practically everybody.
Like all evil narcissists, I want to make sure that my words and deeds go down in history, so I have started a log. This will make a bestselling book one of these days.
The Bitch Receptionist from Hell Log, Entry No. 1
ME: Big Important University. May I help you?
Notice how polite I am. A good phone manner is very important.
YOUNG MALE CALLER (after a pause): Hello?
Oh good! I love it when they are young and still naïve.
ME: This is Big Important University.
CALLER: Oh. I’m interested in getting some information about your postgraduate programs. I was wondering if I can come in and speak to someone to get a better idea if your school is a good fit.
Ooh! Even better! A little over-privileged bastard with an entitlement complex! This will require my best sickeningly sweet, obsequious voice.
ME: We are always interested in taking time out of our very busy days to talk to intelligent, motivated young prospects like you. Our admissions officers work triple-shifts because they are so busy talking to prospective students that they can’t get any other work done during the day, but it’s worth every minute of their time. They have actually learned to get along without sleep and their families have forgotten about them. May I just ask you a couple of questions before I set up an interview?
CALLER: (after a pause, unsure): Uh … yeah, okay.
This is going to be good.
ME: Have you checked out our website?
CALLER: I looked at it for a few minutes, but I couldn’t see what I wanted, so I thought it would be a lot easier just to call.
My voice changes from sweet and obsequious to cold and frank.
ME: Oh dear. I’m afraid that’s not good. You have failed the Website Test. I suggest that you take a course in basic internet surfing and try again. In the meantime, should you decide to take the time to investigate our website further, you will find any and all information that you need.
Ooh, that felt good!
The Bitch Receptionist from Hell Log, Entry No. 2
ME: Big Important University.
FEMALE CALLER: Professor Skivatsky, please.
Professor Skivatsky hasn’t come out of his locked office for two hours, ever since he went in there with his female teaching assistant and told me to hold all his calls.
ME: Professor Skivatsky is not here this morning. I haven’t seen him. May I take a message, or would you like his voice mail?
Damn, I’m a good liar!
FEMALE CALLER: This is Anne. I know he’s there. I’ll hold the phone while you find him.
Anne is his girlfriend. And she has just made me mad. You do NOT want to make me mad.
ME: Hold on a moment, please.
I put her on hold for a moment, while I think of a plan.
ME (back on the phone): Hello? Are you still there?
FEMALE CALLER: Yes.
ME: I just spoke to Professor Skivatsky’s teaching assistant. The Professor has been called unexpectedly to a conference in Rio. He is on his way to the airport right now. He would like you to join him. He says to meet him at the airport, Terminal 3. His plane leaves in a few hours. He’ll explain everything there.
FEMALE CALLER: He wants me to go to Rio with him?
ME: Yes. Meet him at Terminal 3.
FEMALE CALLER: Thanks.
Professor Skivatsky will have a lot of explaining to do. In the meantime, I have not only taken sweet revenge on that rude bitch of a girlfriend, I have earned the professor a few hours of time with his assistant before she calls him again. He owes me a pair of diamond earrings for this one.
Life is good.
[i] You can find him here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/odds/bofh/