An Information Desk is for 'Information' Right?!

Correct me if I'm wrong. But, isn't an "Information Desk" a place to well...get information?

Sadly, I had the unfortunate task of visiting our local Human Services building yesterday, without a clue as to what I had to do to file some necessary paperwork. But, the good news was that as soon as I walked in I saw the "Information Desk". Great.

Well, not so much.

There were two people behind the desk. One on a computer another seemed like a "floater". He kept calling out that if you were there dropping off paperwork, you could go see him. Hmmm. Well, I was technically just dropping off paperwork but did have a few questions too. So after a few people jump ahead of me, I get my chance. I start walking toward him and open up the paperwork in my hand. With almost a disgusted look on his face, he sternly tells me (almost shouting), "That's an application. You have to wait in line". Well, geeze, okay then. Back in line I go.

Now the office closes at 4pm, it's now 3:45. I'm next in line and get called up. The woman quickly starts scanning my paperwork, stamps it but then tells me pages X through X need to be completed (education level, income, etc). I tell her that the application is not for myself but for someone in my household. Long story short, she "advises" me to complete the application so it doesn't get returned for being incomplete (even though she tells me they won't need this information to process the application) and to come back at 7:45 AM any morning and wait to see someone. That way, I can ask any questions I might have at that time.

I persist about why I need to supply my personal information and she tells me, "We're the state. We have all that information and much more about you. All we have to do is press a button (on the computer) and it's all right there." So, I think, well, thank for your that most accurate vision of what feels like an invasion of my privacy. BUT, I ask, "If you have all this information, then why do I need to fill it in?".

She decides that she doesn't like my logical question. So she proceeds to "shoo" my off by telling me again to complete the application, come back, and "I'm sorry I need to take the next person" (as she pushes my paperwork towards me and motions for the next person in line to come up). OH! I'm so sorry, did my time at the "Information Desk" expire?! Oh, my apologies. I didn't realize I only had 3 minutes of your time. I'm beside myself for having taken so much of your precious time in trying to understand things I haven't a clue about.

Thanks "Information Desk".

Have you ever had this or something similar, happen to you?


Azure Accessories said...

Oh my...sounds to me as though the staff members you had to deal with either didn't didn't actually like their work or could have used help to ease their work level!!! Either way rudeness is never excused...

Having said that the folks at information desks including government agencies can sometimes be difficult to deal with...I think sometimes it can be a thankless job... :(

Hopefully you can speak with someone more pleasant and helpful tomorrow...

Bronson Hill Arts said...

Congratulations, Stephanie! You didn't get right back in her face! Couldn't have been easy.

As for that experience, oh, yea. Quite a few times. It's such a great feeling when you bother someone to do the job they're being paid to do, isn't it?

Hang in there; it'll happen with time.


Stephanie said...

Heather -I would have to agree with you. I'm sure it was the "thankless job" issue more than anything.

Barb -you know me too well. :-)