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WELCOME! To two new members of the McKenzieHR team.

DONNA JORGE, PHR has joined us as a full time consultant and will be working with clients on a number of projects.

KAREN LIVENGOOD, is working with us on a part time basis while she also attends to her twin boys. She will work on special projects as time permits.

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Phone: (904) 273-8637

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Last week I called the main telephone number of a large organization. As expected, the automated attendant answered and ran through eight menu options. As usual, none of the options was what I needed, so I pressed the “0” button expecting to get a live person. Imagine my surprise when a recorded voice told me, “All of our operators are too busy to take your call. Please call back later when it is not so busy.” The voice went on to tell me the busy times of the week and the month that were not good times to call. I called back about an hour later and finally got the opportunity to speak with a live operator. He was obviously bored with his job and gave me the third degree by asking me a number of pointed questions on why I was calling the person I wanted to speak with. The message from him was very clear, “How dare you call our employees during working hours.”

When calling someone today, expect to get voice mail. We are all so accustomed to speaking after a beep that many people have developed a Pavlov like response to the beep. One local restaurant beeps its wait staff when food is ready for pick up. When the beep goes off, twenty people check their pockets for their cell phone or pager and twenty others start reciting their name and telephone number out loud.

While you are on hold, other companies have recorded commercials that are repeated over and over and over again and again. Do we really have to hear about the company’s award winning service while waiting an hour to have the privilege of speaking to one of their award winning customer service reps? They never say who gave them the award, just that they have “award winning service”.

Some companies have gotten very high tech as their answering mechanisms can recognize sounds. They ask for the name of the person you want to speak to. If the machine understands you, it transfers the call immediately to that party. Sometimes these devices get confused. Once I asked for Jim Frey and got Kim Day. Sometimes these machines do not recognize what is being said. The recording gets pretty rude about letting you know that it did not understand. One actually raised its voice and sounded very perturbed that it could not understand me. I had to repeat the same thing three times and each time the machine got louder and more indignant with its response. After I realized I was shouting at a machine, I hit the “O” button only to find out that it does not recognize that entry.

Then there is always the automated directory. Some are very nice by asking the caller to spell the first three letters of the person’s last name. Let me see – is it Smith or Smyth. Others ask the caller to spell the first and last name of the individual you want to speak to. This is OK unless the person you want is named Bernadette Zymkowitcz. What number do I use for a Z, again? If you spell the name wrong, the recorded voice politely informs you that there is no one employed with that name and to please try again. After 15 minutes of trying to spell Zymkowitcz, I gave up and dialed “O” to speak to a live person only to find that “O” is not a recognized entry.

Still other companies are quick to answer the phone with a human being. It is nice to get the live person. The customer service rep, however, is usually answering the phone in a different country. Therefore, the CSR does not speak English very well and I do not speak their language at all. What we than have is a failure to communicate.

As customers you are all hereby bestowed with the” McKenzie Patient Customer Award” for having to endure this sub-standard customer service. The next time they tell you about their award winning service, tell them you are an award winning customer.

Oh and be sure to ask your employees what your customers are saying about your telephone system.


AUGUST 2004 -
Employment At Will – What Does It Really Mean?
JULY 2004 -
JUNE 2004 -
MAY 2004 -
APRIL 2004 -
Is It Really a Hostile Work Environment?
MARCH 2004 -
TRAINING - Ya Gotta Believe
The Potential of People
JANUARY 2004 -
Keeping Your Good People
Makes You Look Better