Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Would You Like to Bureaucratize That?

I work in a federal building in downtown Spokane.  Recently I went to the General Services Administration office to get the key to a phone closet that houses a backup server that had crashed.  There are two customer service counters in the office.  Nobody was behind either one.  The far counter had a sign next to a bell that said to ring the bell for customer service.  A woman sitting at a computer in a cubicle behind the counter looked at me when I walked in and then went back to her computer screen.  I could hear voices in the back so I assumed the person at the front desk had stepped into the back for something and would return shortly.  After a minute passed I didn't think anyone was returning shortly.  I looked at the woman who saw me come in and then I looked at the bell.  I thought, "No, this is not going to happen.  Someone is going to help me any second now." Another minute passed.  Defeated, I walked over to the other counter and rang the bell.  The woman behind the computer immediately jumped up, "Can I help you?"  Pavlov must be in charge of their training.

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