Just Now : I call a Louisiana government office to ask a specific question about a specific subject. The person I speak with is polite and tells me she does not know the answer and it is not her department. She offers to have someone call me back. I thank her, ask her to take a few notes so she ...understands my question and can route the request to the correct person in the rigjt department.
20 minutes (or so) later my phone rings. I ask the caller if she was given the notes and understood the reason for my call. She tells me no, she didn’t know and then proceeds to read a lengthy prepared CYA statement explaining all the ways she can’t help me, and then asks if I understand. I acknowledge I understand and ask if I can proceed. From there I explain my concern and ask my question…………
caller : Sir, I understand your question and suggest you look it up on our government website.
Me: I’m asking you
caller : Sir, you might want to consider driving to Baton Rouge so you can do research in the clerk if court’s office.
( this went on for a while ) …………
Me : I want to be polite, but also very clear; people who work for the government are not our leaders. They are elected, appointed, or hired public servants. They represent the interests of the citizens of their community. I’m asking a reasonable question and although you’re being nice, you’re not being at all helpful.
Caller : Sir I don’t know the answer to your question because I work in a different department.
Me : Fine, I understand this is not your department. Next question, why are you returning my call, if I explained in detail to the last representative why I was calling, and you’re telling me that’s not your department?
That’s like me calling a hospital and asking to speak to a cardiologist about a heart problem, and having an orthopedic surgeon returning my call. The orthopedic doctor may be a skilled surgeon, but that has nothing to do with my question about the heart. So, once again why are YOU calling me back?
Caller : We take turns returning calls, and today is my day.
Me : How on earth does that serve the public ?
Caller : Today is my day to return calls, that’s al I can tell you !
Me : Is there a department and / or person who handles matters that pertain to my question?
Me : Can you give me that information, and I will contact that department ?
Caller ; I won’t be able to give you that information
Me; Can you contact that department and ask them to call me ?
Caller : Yes, I can do that
Me: Thank you
Caller : But I want to be clear that I can’t guarantee they will call you back.
I hope I’ve been helpful addressing your concerns.
Me: Truthfully, you haven’t been helpful at all.
With that, we hung up