Old Dogs Managing Incoming Calls, Faxes and Emails

Posted on June 6, 2012


I’m old enough to remember when PRSCO’s customer service /sales department graduated from a bank of inventory card trays to IBM computers in order to manage our inventory. Each person shared a terminal (not a PC) with another person and we would have to wait our turn to use it. Personal computers, internet and email were still not on the horizon and in fact, we hadn’t seen our first fax machine yet. Confirmations were typed by a secretary and mailed and were oftentimes received by the customer after materials had arrived.

PRSCO was a bustling place in those days.  Noise levels were high due to eight regional phone lines ringing in without a dedicated switchboard and were picked up by anyone who would then yell across the room for someone to take the call on “two oh or Lancaster”. We endured smoke filled rooms and ducked under phone cords crisscrossing and stretching across the way to inventory trays. All too often, someone had forgotten to put the tray back or it was placed in the wrong slot. When we stepped into the era of computer terminals we shortened our phone cords, gained counter space and were able to access inventory with ease.  Wow—we had entered a new age for managing inventory but the phone system was still another matter.

Fast forward thirty some years and we find ourselves trying to keep up with things we couldn’t have imagined in earlier days.  Shared terminals were eventually replaced with individual PCs with email and internet access. Software programs made tedious jobs easier but it was a crazy new thing to learn for us old dogs. Today, email has possibly over taken fax communication, but not by much—we deal with an awful lot of faxes yet. But what trumps it all still—in spite of the onslaught of email from those born into the personal computer generation— is the telephone.  

Interestingly enough, we’ve encountered others in customer service positions who apparently get to choose what form of communication they answer to first—voice mail or email. Note, I said voice mail, not phone.  PRSCO’s first priority is to take incoming calls. We don’t make you jump through hoops to get to the person you need to talk to. We have real live people answering and directing incoming calls. When we’re not on the phone, we handle email then.

Email is a great tool, but I’d sooner have a phone conversation than an email account of the same thing, just because it’s faster. Really— is there any communication faster than talking?

I know. It’s a picture worth a 1000 words. Here, let me send that to your email.


Written by: Alice Deeny

Posted in: Fun stuff