Top Ten Scariest Receptionists

4 Nov
Nice Reception people at DICE in Stockholm

Nice Reception people at DICE in Stockholm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Show me a person who doesn’t fear receptionists and I’ll show you the person who runs the organisation and employs receptionists specifically to keep us plebs out.

The law of averages dictates that at least one of my readers is bound to be a receptionist of some sort so I acknowledge in advance that you are absolutely not one of the following monsters who ruin ordinary lives, being the exception that proves the rule.  Though how an exception proves a rule, I’ve never understood: surely an exception disproves the rule?

Dear Reception Exception, you’re not by any chance gatekeeper to someone who can explain that, are you?


10.  Switchboard Operators

Receptionists with delusions of grandeur and real power.  Think your partner is having an affair because you can never get hold of them?  They’re not – they just annoyed the Switchboard Operator who won’t now put calls through.

They come in at Number Ten because mobile phones and email are stripping them of their ability to break up your relationship.

9.  Receptionists Who Work in Government Offices

Your taxes pay their salaries so, effectively, they work for you.

Like they care about that.

8.  Conglomerate Receptionists

Professional, attractive, friendly, helpful.

They are the bait that conglomerates use to hook you.  Be prepared for a thorough fleecing and some mixed metaphors.

7.  Office Administrators

Receptionists with delusions of grandeur.  I’ve been one.  I know whereof I speak.  Ask me for a new pen and see how quickly you lose an eye.

6.  Gym Receptionists

Like Conglomerate Receptionists but with sickeningly gorgeous figures in lycra and the ability to shave money from your bank account for an indefinite period of time.

5.  Job Centre Receptionists

How dare you be unemployed!?  Get out, scum.

4.  Hairdressers’ Receptionists

Slim, beautiful, perfectly coiffed and manicured.

Intimidating in an I-can’t-believe-you’d-dare-visit-this-over-priced-salon-in-no-make-up-and-wearing-that sort of way.

3.  Post Office Counter Staff

So unhelpful and unfriendly, they count as Honorary Receptionists.

Tell me I’m wrong.

2.  School Receptionists

‘Grim’ is their default facial expression setting.

I never met one yet who didn’t terrify me.  Though there was one tiny, skinny, middle-aged woman in my high school years who won points for riding a 750cc motorbike in full leathers and helmet to work.  Total astonishment always trumps fear.

1.  Medical Receptionists

My failure to prevent the Hub’s future pneumonia is a case in point.  They get to be Number One because they hold the power of life and death in their appointment book-wielding hands.


51 Responses to “Top Ten Scariest Receptionists”

  1. viveka November 4, 2012 at 09:16 #

    One thing for sure … I have met all of them – Great start of my morning this post. Thanks.


  2. lenwilliamscarver November 4, 2012 at 10:03 #

    I have always believed a receptionist was the transmitter for the aliens of other planets and they were here strictly to line us up for abductions but could find none or few of us worthy. therefore assignment incomplete they must stay until it is and they hate us for being inferior! 🙂


  3. vivinfrance November 4, 2012 at 10:24 #

    Brilliant. We have two alternating Post Office counter ladies (sic): one is as you describe, a monster totally unhelpful, in capable of understanding perfect French, because she knows I am English. The other is one of your exceptions, an angel who, because she didn’t have the right form in our village PO, took my parcel home with her so that she could post it in the main office in town.


  4. Pseu November 4, 2012 at 10:27 #

    So you haven’t yet sorted out the flu jab then?


  5. eof737 November 4, 2012 at 10:29 #

    I’ve met a few monsters in my lifetime and not all were receptionists… but I understand. 😆


  6. OyiaBrown November 4, 2012 at 10:34 #

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


  7. jmgoyder November 4, 2012 at 11:26 #

    I am also terrified of primary school teachers – haha!


  8. misswhiplashm November 4, 2012 at 11:30 #

    I used to be employed as a Tax Officer by the Inland Revenue…I was a good one, always willing to help save money but also to pay the correct amount we ain’t all bad! or wasn’t then which is 40 years ago


  9. Tom (Aquatom1968) November 4, 2012 at 12:31 #

    I met a nice post office receptionist once, Tilly. They wanted £5.00 to check my passport application was correct, which I was willing to pay to make sure I had done it right… and she gave me the fiver back.
    I’ve also met everyone else on your list…


  10. sarsm November 4, 2012 at 12:33 #

    Phew – you didn’t mention hotel receptionists (once upon a time I was one :-)).

    Medical receptionists are definitely the worst!!!


  11. laurieanichols November 4, 2012 at 13:22 #

    I was a receptionist once for two weeks, I was filling in for someone else. It wasn’t bad at all because I worked solely for the Big Boss at the law firm. He was nice to me and all I had to do was make all of his phone calls, plan his trips and answer his phone. I am amazed at the receptionists who lose you in the system or send you over to an entirely different department than the one you asked for.


  12. Helen Cherry November 4, 2012 at 13:44 #

    generally I get this.. though I am lucky with my GP receptionists who are all lovely. Can I swap that one for Dentists receptionist now they are definitely scary!


  13. LeeAnn November 4, 2012 at 13:56 #

    I was a receptionist once at a Big Giant Corporation. The most powerful thing I did was I forced the FBI to sign in and wait for an escort so they could come confiscate some guy’s government-contract equipment.
    “We’re going up to take XX’s computer and files now.”
    “Uh… no, you’re not. Wait for your escort.”
    “But…. we’re the FBI.”
    “But… I’m the girl with the ability to shut off the elevators. Do you really want to carry all that down from the fourth floor?”
    “We’ll wait.”
    “Thought so.”


  14. mairedubhtx November 4, 2012 at 14:36 #

    My daughter is an executive assistant and she looks as sweet as pie but is as tough as nails and runs her office like a battleship. She whips her troops into shape. Her people get their reports in on time and they had better be correct. The executives had better submit their expense reports correctly or there is hell to pay. I wouldn’t want to work for her but I’d want her to work FOR me.


  15. rumpydog November 4, 2012 at 15:04 #

    I know that woman! At Jen’s office, she’s called an Administrative Assistant, but she has the same personality traits. Jen says she has the lowest salary in the office and yet wields the most power. Awesome, huh!


  16. Al November 4, 2012 at 15:41 #

    I was in industrial sales for many years so I’ve literally met thousands of them. I’ve always thought they were misnamed. I think rejectionist better describes their job.


  17. November 4, 2012 at 17:22 #

    I loved this blog- as a Manufacturer’s Rep- a large part of my job is spent trying to get past the gate keeper ..Some are kind and some are not. I still try to be pleasant but some days it is very difficult to be rejected by someone that does not even know what I am trying to accomplish. Thanks for posting this!


  18. adinparadise November 4, 2012 at 17:26 #

    I worked at a company, where the receptionist used to knit, smoke, drink coffee, and read Mills & Boon novels, all at the same time. She moaned every time she had to answer the phone. 🙂


  19. slpmartin November 4, 2012 at 21:46 #

    Some rather clever ones in this list of yours…got a few laughs.


  20. Grannymar November 4, 2012 at 22:20 #

    It is many a long year since I joined the world of work. I began as number ten in the telephone exchange in Dublin so that may well cover number 9. Over several moves I became nos 8,7 and one. I treated everyone with respect and was given the same in return.

    This not a rant, I have met worse than on you list and was nodding and smiling as I checked many of them off the list.


  21. gigihawaii November 5, 2012 at 00:23 #

    I was a receptionist in a law office during the lunch hour, when the other one needed to eat. It was like having a ball and chain around my ankle, as I could not budge from the phones.


  22. benzeknees November 5, 2012 at 10:12 #

    Oftentimes the receptionist is only a reflection of the way the boss wants things done. If the boss wants all his calls screened or doesn’t want to talk to certain people, unfortunately the receptionist ends up being the one to deal with all this. I’ve been in this position way too many times & I always hated it!
    So does Hub have pneumonia? I pray the medical office smartens up!


  23. Jeff November 5, 2012 at 22:21 #

    That’s brilliant! I agree about the post office workers, too. Even over here, they can be pretty scary. Also? I think texting should have a higher percentage in the graph. And reading newspapers lower. I don’t think anyone does that any more. And they need to add “playing Words With Friends.”


  24. idiosyncratic eye November 5, 2012 at 23:01 #

    I agree about the people in the post office for sure but there is one sweetie in ours at least. I find it’s also helpful to say exactly what you want for where, provide a complete list of contents and tell them the exact weight to the nearest gram, you get better service. By the way, I think I was always a nice receptionist. (I hope!) 😉



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