New York City Health Department

Worker Robot Voice: 20-Day Suspension Given To Man Who Answered Phones Using Robot Voice

A worker used a robot voice while answering the phone at his job and got himself suspended for it. According to KHOU, Ronald Dillon was suspended for 20 days by New York City’s Health Department for talking to callers using a robot voice, tricking some of them into thinking that they were talking to a machine.

“The computer specialist spoke in a ‘deliberately robotic fashion’ on at least five calls between February and April of last year, according to the disciplinary hearing; the judge heard one recording featuring Dillon talking to a customer in a ‘slow, monotone, and over-enunciated manner,'” reports KHOU.

The worker’s robot voice may have been funny to some, but it was unprofessional and uncalled for according to his boss. In fact, Mr. Dillon’s boss asked him to stop doing that but Mr. Dillon had no intention of stopping. He did defend himself, however, saying that he didn’t want to be transferred to the help desk to begin with and that his “Brooklyn accent” was hard for some people to understand — hence his “robot voice.”

According to Gawker, Dillon’s defense didn’t really hold up. His boss released the following rebuttal before suspending his employee without pay.

“There is a difference between speaking slowly and distinctly and speaking so robotically that callers did not believe that they were speaking to a person.”

People that phoned into the department mentioned that they didn’t want to talk to a robot or that the robot “hung up on them” which, of course, is bad for customer service in general — especially because there aren’t any robots that work in that particular IT department.

At least the worker that used a robot voice had a defense. Another employee of a different company also got in trouble this week but he didn’t have a good excuse. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a UPS employee got suspended after he was caught kicking an expensive package. The worker picked up the package from a New York-based company and kicked it through the door on the way to his truck. A receptionist saw this happen and advised to company’s owner to check out surveillance footage. UPS apologized and said that they would investigate.

“Thank you for bringing this incident to our attention. UPS drivers are trained to handle every package with care. This is a part of the overall emphasis we place on providing excellent service to our customers. UPS does not condone this specific driver’s behavior. We are investigating this issue and will take corrective action with this driver. We have also apologized to the customer.”

[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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