Last Saturday I checked in at a doctor’s place for a random check up. I met an empty front office, well laid out, neat and inviting. I rested on the couch convinced that the receptionist would show up in a matter of minutes. She could be in the ladies, I thought so. Well, I waited for a boring 45 minutes, my only accompaniment being the diligent wall cloak that drooled at me, hanging a meter length above my damn forehead.
I stared at the pricey, clean, manicured interiors of this office until there was no more to stare. I went over my phone, camped in the social media apps, survived the heated arguments about Nakuru and Kibera rallies on Facebook, toured Twitter streets and found them debating about the incredible CBK governor Patrick Njoroge and how he pockets a paltry sh.18,000 while giving the rest to the poor. I wasn’t convinced how a man of his stature could survive with sh.18,000 in Nairobi, never mind, I moved on. Across the streets were the financial and economy intellects the likes of Kenyanwallstreet and Aly-Khan Satchu debating everything from how Chase Bank will be less complicated than Imperial Bank to clean up, to how Tanzania gate crushed the oil pipeline deal between Kenya and Uganda and ran away with it.
I landed on Instagram and got dazzled by what I saw on that morning. Even after all this wastage of time, there was no receptionist to attend me. By now my patience had run out. My eyes got hold of this number artistically inscribed in a piece of artwork that was placed strategically. I called the number only to answered by a lady. Okay, I thought the voice would sound baritone and come stamped by white-like beards. Yaani I expected a Dr. Muthui* (Not his real name) to respond from the other end.
I went ahead and introduced myself before subtly throwing a complaint of how I had waited for a whole 45 minutes without being attended. The mellow voice changed in a matter of seconds. I could hear her cocking her throat and arming herself with all the ATT this world has got. This is how it went down;
It can’t be 45 minutes. I have just left 10 minutes ago for tea break.
You can confirm from the security guys. According to my watch, I have been here for so long.
It can’t be 45. I’m coming. (She went quiet.)
(I hanged up.)
Before I screamed who cares about her tea break and how was that my problem, I had a tap on my left shoulder. It was my doting Angel hanging lowly and occasionally flapping his humongous wings. He calmed me down even before I got an explanation of how long 10 minutes were, in this part of the world.
She popped in. And there was an awkward silence between us taking shape. She was eager to meet this hell-of- a-client who was throwing shade to her amazing and futuristic career. She gave me a handshake and went straight to her desk. She had a Brenda Wairimu(Actress) resemblance. SmaIl face, a smaller nose, petite physique, extremely light skinned and a commanding persona. Dainty ladies have a way of commanding authority; if it’s not from their assertive voice, then it has to be their confusing hairstyle or resistful eyes or the miniskirts. Haha nature has a way of balancing things.
I inquired about the doctor and to my disappointment he was absent for that day. WTH!!………..How now. They should have placed a sticker somewhere or close the office.
I never like it when a day starts on such a low note. I left when we had made peace and even assured her I will be coming back next week. That done, my Angel was at it again. This time hovering around me while I made my way out. He made me remember how lawyers accompany their clients from the courtroom heading to the parking bay ignoring the journalists.
What is it Angel?
It’s time we wrote about receptionists.
Well, I could try it soon.
You got me.
So, I thought about what makes a good or bad receptionist. Has anyone ever bothered to write about the different species of front office ladies? This would be hard to crack but interesting too.
Moody and Mean
These are customer care operators who make it our business to stomach their soaring levels of stress or bad mornings. You identify them by the moment you walk into a waiting lobby. They will pretend not to have seen you and go ahead to hit the keyboard hard, head lowered until someone walks from the opposite direction to have a word with them. That’s when they will be like, “sorry, how can I help you?” They also make long conversations sandwiched by disturbing laughters disregarding your presence and urgency.
Occasionally you will walk into an office and meet an extremely shy receptionist. She will hardly look to your direction and many a times have a voice that will not be audible. You will struggle to have a conversation with her and will leave with an unsatisfied look.
You will find them mainly in government offices. They will be grey haired with loosely fitted specs and will take a million years to type a sentence. They will be motherly too, breathing heavily but quite reliable.
This type pays homage to men only. They like it when men flatter with them for whatever reason. They highly have fun with serving the male clientele and even go to any length to please them.Typically, these are ladies who entertain a lot of men even in their personal lives.
The Multitasking and Smiley
These are best. They will answer calls from a different end as they take down your details while sorting out the files and reaching on the Messenger to give orders. They will depict high levels of energy, give genuine smiles and lend a keen ear. They will seem motivated and good at what they do. And the icing on the cake; they will recall your first name when you come back few days later.
My angel and I are so done with this challenge and on to the next one.
Blessed week Andreaders and may you Fiji all your good-for-nothing critics, competitors and haters.