-- Is Mary in?
-- May I ask who is calling please?
-- It's Jane from the Tax Collector's Office.
Pat passes me the phone with a sympathetic smile and a whispered message that the Tax Collector is on the phone. We've been going through a sales tax audit these past two weeks, so I stop what I am doing to take the call.
-- This is Mary, how may I help you?
-- This is Jane from the tax collectors office...but I am also on the board of the Teacher's Credit Union, and we are having a fund raiser next week...
And she goes on to ask me if I would donate some baked goods "like I did last year."
-- No I'm sorry but we cannot participate this year.
And I hang up. Absolutely fuming because she had the nerve to say she was calling from the Tax Collector's Office.
Caller ID is wonderful. I scrolled down to her number and called back. Got a generic voice mail message "thank you for calling the Tuscaloosa County Tax Collector's office. If you are calling during business hours..."
So I left a message.
-- Hi, this is Mary from Mary's Cakes in Northport. I'd like to let you know that Jane from your office used your phone to solicit me for a donation to the Credit Union. As a taxpayer I resent the fact that you allow your employees to use your office resources and their affiliation for personal gain. And I think it is terribly unethical.
So about an hour later Jane calls me back to apologize, explaining that she is so used saying she is "Jane from the Tax Collector's Office" she was not thinking, and did not mean to imply that the call was in any way related to her work.
But I wasn't ready for this to be over because I didn't think Jane was being sincere, she was just caught red-handed.
-- Jane, let me tell you what my problem is. You call me from your official phone, and tell my employee you are from the tax collector's office and you need to speak with me.
-- I was calling during my break
-- I don't care if it was your break, using your official phone for non-official business is unethical to say the least. If one of my employees used my bakery phone to call and solicit people for donations not specifically related to the bakery, I would fire them.
-- I'm sorry, I won't call you again. Please accept my apology.
Unfortunately I have to go to the Tax Collector's office next week to renew my car tag. I hope she doesn't hold a grudge.