Hello?

From The State:

Gov. Nikki Haley wants state workers to answer their phones, saying, “It’s a great day in South Carolina. How can I help you?”

Tuesday, Haley instructed the directors of Cabinet agencies, which report to her, to change the way their employees answer the phones.

Haley said the change will boost the morale of state workers, remind them they work for the callers on the other end of the line and help her sell the state to employers.

Original DVD cover

Among the state agencies that are part of Haley’s Cabinet is the state’s prison system. Others include commerce, education, public safety and health.

However, Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party, said Haley’s approach is silly.

“She believes that if you say the lie enough, people may begin to believe it. But we know the state is in the toilet,” Harpootlian said, referring to the state’s 11.1 percent unemployment rate, the fourth-highest rate in the nation.

The “great day in South Carolina” greeting requirement comes on the heels of criticism of Haley for undermining S.C. workers and the state as a job site.

On last year’s campaign trail, Haley often said half of applicants failed pre-employment drug tests at the Savannah River Site. Haley used that claim to endorse drug testing for unemployed South Carolinians seeking jobless benefits.

However, recently released data shows less than 1 percent of would-be SRS workers failed the drug tests.

From The State:

Gov. Nikki Haley’s requirement that state workers answer their telephones with a cheery “It’s a great day in South Carolina” is getting mixed reviews.

…snip…

Democrats were quick to criticize the new policy. SC Forward Progress, a Democrat group, released a web video Wednesday on YouTube, pointing to the state’s 11 percent unemployment rate, recent political scandals including ethics violations by Lt. Gov. Ken Ard and more as proof of the state’s lack of greatness.

…snip…

Reaction from agency directors has been positive so far. Several agency heads expressed approval of the new policy Tuesday.

“It seems fine to me,” said Bob Toomey, DAODAS [Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services] director, Wednesday, adding he has heard no complaints about the new policy.

But some state workers think the greeting could be inappropriate – particularly for state workers at agencies that deal with health issues.

For example, Haley’s Cabinet includes the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services where the mission is to work to prevent/reduce substance use and addictions. The Cabinet also includes the Department of Corrections that oversees the state’s prisons.

“For some of those callers, it’s not a great day,” said Carlton Washington, director of the South Carolina State Employees Association.

Washington said calls from upset state workers were steady all day Wednesday. He said he wishes Haley would focus more on the needs of state workers.

State employees have not received cost of living increases in four years and no merit-based raises since 2001. Layoffs and furloughs have been commonplace in the last few years. The General Assembly is talking now about making cuts to their pension plans.

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39 Comments

Filed under Democrats, humor, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Scandals, snark, South Carolina, Wordpress Political Blogs

39 responses to “Hello?

  1. It’s a great Doris Day in South Carolina!

    Geez, have the tourism board do that and let everyone else do their jobs.

    • there’s nothing that bugs the shit out of me more, especially when i’m already pissed off, is listening to someone on the other end of the phone reciting a prepared script. i wonder if she has the medical examiners and the morgues answering the phones that way.

      • The coroners were the first ones I pitied.

        The lunatics are definitely running the asylum.

        • the hard part was forcing all the corpses to smile for the pictures in the brochures.

          • jeb

            Here’s a script for the coroners office modified from a little ditty we used to do as kids:

            Coroner’s office, you stab ’em, we slab ’em. Some go to heaven, some go to hello.

            • i used to love those jokes! ‘county morgue. you kill ’em, we chill ’em.’ ‘raisin bakery. which crumb do you want to talk to?’ roadkill diner: ‘you kill ’em, we grill ’em.’ bondage boutique: ‘we’ll get to your call soon. everyone is tied up right now.’ ambulance service: ‘you maul ’em, we haul ’em.’ urologist’s office: ‘can you hold?’

  2. John Erickson

    When Citicorp bought our company, they tried to enforce a common greeting on our phone mail, as well as among us. They couldn’t even get everybody to use the same text on their voice mail – the push lasted about 6 weeks, then they just gave up. Their claim was it would make us feel “like one part of a big family”.
    We DID feel like part of a family. We were all the kids from the first marriage, and we couldn’t STAND our new step-father (Citicorp)!

    • when i call the hate comcast tech support, they sprinkle their phony scripted apologies for their crappy service with scripted suggestions for their other services. as soon as the first scripted words leave their lips, i start screaming (and i do mean screaming) that i didn’t call to hear their phony crap, and they had better not try it again, because my volume will go up in response.

      • John Erickson

        DirecTV does the same thing, even when you’re fighting over a billing issue. My wife tore into them when they claimed we were grossly past due (we were past due, but only 1 month), chewed her out a bit, then transferred her to a collections specialist. The hold “music” was – you guessed it – ads for MORE channels! By the time she was done, our bill was current AND we had Showtime! I was outside, so I have no idea what she said, but now you know the true secret to a great marriage – keep the husband 50% in love and 50% TERRIFIED TO DEATH! Works like a charm! 😉 (Well, it’s more like 100% and 250%, respectively in my case…..)

        • the only reason i’m still with comcast is that i’ve yelled at them so much and so often that they keep giving me channels and service for free. businesses need to learn not to piss off people who have nothing better to do than to make phone calls to complain.

  3. I hate prepared scripts too .. but in this case, just another reason why not to live in SC. OMG … I just noticed the Tunnel of Love on the poster. LOL!!!

    Regarding the Doris Day reference … She is from Cincinnati … and back in the day, I thought she was a hottie! But her earrings not as nice as Nikki’s.

    FYI: Tuesday weather here for my first golf day is forecasted to be fabulous!

    • so glad someone finally read the movie titles one the side! 😉

      i always liked doris day, even if she is a rethuglican.

      glad you’ll have good golfing weather, frank. it’s been raining here every day. howevah, even though it’ll be hot and rainy during the day, it’s supposed to drop 20 degrees at night over the weekend! 😀

  4. jean-philippe

    Someone should robocall Haley with this song:

  5. Ah, so life sucks in South Carolina, but as long as we SAY it’s a great day, it will be, right? I’m sure the state workers believe it….

    • they’re going to cancel all the state workers’ health insurance, but they’re going to have them say i never felt better in my life! so everything should be fine.

  6. maggiejean

    Exactly when did this happen I wonder

    Democrats were quick to criticize the new policy. SC Forward Progress, a Democrat group, released a web video Wednesday on YouTube, pointing to the state’s 11 percent unemployment rate, recent political scandals including ethics violations by Lt. Gov. Ken Ard and more as proof of the state’s lack of greatness.

    It really makes me angry when I read or hear a noun being used where an adjective is needed.

    • good catch, maggiejean! i didn’t even notice. that pisses me off when they say that. it’s disrespectful, and it’s just bad grammar.

      • maggiejean

        I believe it all began when idiot George II didn’t know a noun from an adjective and then others followed suit. I heard some repub spokesperson on NPR the other day do the same thing. I just wish they would get called out on it.

        • that’s what drives me nuts. even when they’re not on faux news, they rarely get called out on it. i’ve heard tweety do it a few times. he tells them that they’re disrespectful.

    • jeb

      That jumped out at me too. Ruined the whole article.

  7. elizabeth3hersh

    I had the good fortune of spending a summer in Asheville , NC. I could not BELIEVE how friendly people were. My default demeanor when dealing with the public is ‘crotchety crank’ mode. Their southern hospitality regularly disarmed me and I found it soothing, charming and infectious, and extraordinarily difficult not to reciprocate in kind. Further, we have a car wash chain here in Las Vegas called Fabulous Freddy’s. Everyone gets to be fabulous for a day. When you call, the phone is answered with “It’s a fabulous day at Fabulous Freddy’s, how can we help you?” When your car is ready, they call out to “Fabulous Elizabeth.” I’m telling you that shit never gets old, I love it and I wish it was the salutary greeting for all businesses (that is, if they don’t start trying to sell me things I don’t want…when you say you scream at the Comcast script I can just lol because that is me in a nutshell).

    • there’s nothing wrong with being friendly on the phone. it’s the scripted shit that i hate. it won’t make things any better for the state, and if that’s the best nikki haley can come up with, then the people who voted for her are either idiots or they were duped.

  8. 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!!!!!!
    PERFECT!!!!!!!
    Be sure to tune in to my local paper on Sunday when a local columnist will defend Hayley’s idiotic stance: http://blogs.myrtlebeachonline.com/different_world/2011/09/i-will-be-defending-gov-haley-in-sundays-column.html

    I highly doubt he’s going to be able to make that wingless turd fly.

    • his argument so far is idiotic. i almost left a comment there, but i couldn’t think of a way to say what i wanted to say without using works such as asswipe and fucking moron.

      the most ridiculous thing about it is that telling people how to answer their telephones is not the job of a governor. it’s something that idiots in human resources depts think up, because they don’t have anything better to do. if it’s such a great day in south carolina, why did she go to france for her taxpayer-paid-for vacation? she’s obviously a very small thinker, and small thinking won’t turn unemployment numbers around.

      wingless turd, indeed, dc.

  9. Pingback: Nikki Haley is a Moron « Pass The Doucheys on the Right-Hand Side

  10. This reminds me of a guy who was interviewed about working the 800 line for the state of NC in an assigned job for the tourist department. Sometimes the callers would ask him how he liked being there. He would reply he was a “guest of the state”. The guy was in a group of prison convicts given those jobs.

    • 😆 many, many years ago, i worked for a frozen food distributor with the unfortunate name of frigid foods. this one customer would always call, and when i’d answer the phone, he’d say, “frigid?” i’d answer, “none of your business.” he’d laugh every time.

  11. jeb

    Once she gets them all programmed with the great day greeting, the next step will be to have them sign off with “Thank you for your call. Remember, vote Republican. Goodbye.”

  12. Snoring Dog Studio

    This is absolutely surreal. Have people lost their minds? Bring on the uniforms and the Koolaid. For the reason mentioned above, I get calls from people who aren’t really having a great day in Idaho. They’re struggling to quit their tobacco addiction. They’re not feeling so damn great about not being able to quit. If you’re selling widgets, that’s one thing, Elizabeth Hersh, but not if you’re trying to change a difficult and entrenched behavior or talking to someone on a suicide hot line. Robotic, canned phrases are hardly helpful. When people call, they want to know if they’ve reached the right place; they don’t want some robot telling THEM it’s a great day. Sheesh.

  13. HA! When I had a business type job (yupperz, had one), and I made calls all across the Hew S Hey…. folks would ask me where I was calling from… I invariably said, “Beautiful Downtown Wisconsin” which usually brought the rejoinder, ‘Where is that?’ and I would reply, ” Don’t know… we’re still looking for it!” Made a lot of sales NOT talking phony!

    • i love it, jimm!! the more real you are with people, the more they respond. if you’re nasty, they’ll respond negatively, but if your attitude is positive, they’ll feel better. a canned greeting that everyone knows is scripted just serves to piss people off, especially if they’re in need of help. they don’t want fake cheeriness, they want competence.

  14. It’s the Stepford Governor!

    I used to work for a bank (I only made it to my 90-day review there … my boss and I agreed that neither of us wanted anything else to do with the other). Every week we were given a script to read when we answered the phone. And our regional manager had a person whose job seemed to be just calling branches to make sure that we used it, because she called nearly every branch at least once each day.

    I came SOOO close to answering, “Thank you for calling [Insert Bank Name Here]. I’m supposed to promote our mortgages, but our rates suck compared to every Credit Union in the area.”

    What were we talking about?

    • when i went to paramedical school a thousand years ago, a classmate and i decided we needed a job. we found an ad in the paper that said we just had to make phone calls. it turned out to be telemarketing for the miami herald, the local newspaper. we were given a list of phone numbers and a script. we were supposed to ask how the service was. of course, we were just trolling to find people who said that they didn’t get the paper so we could sell them a subscription. one of my first few calls was answered by someone who got out of his sickbed to answer the phone. on our break, my friend and i went out for a cigarette and never went back in.

      • Uggh … telemarketing.

        I don’t blame you for leaving.

        On the other hand, if you’re ever really desperate for cash, wouldn’t it be fun to walk in and say you’re back from your smoking break? Pretend like nothing ever happened …

  15. you dont want to know what i would say to the person from So Carolina if i was greeted that way

    • on one hand, i’d be pissed that a caller is not important enough to be dealt with as an individual deserving respect. on the other hand, i’d feel sorry for the person who has to work for an idiot.

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