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Robot Robot

from DNAinfo New York

City Worker Gets 20-Day Suspension for Using Robot Voice to Answer Phone

By James Fanelli

 Ronald Dillon, a longtime city Health Department employee, was suspended for 20 days without pay after he repeatedly answered customer service calls in a robot voice, according to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.Thinkstock

NEW YORK CITY — A longtime city Health Department worker was suspended 20 days without pay for answering customer-service calls in a robot voice.

Ronald Dillon, a computer specialist for the agency’s IT help desk who assists co-workers and the public with tech-related problems, repeatedly channeled his inner Siri by talking in a “deliberately robotic fashion” when he fielded calls — despite his boss telling him to stop, according to an Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings decision.

Representatives for the Health Department said during a disciplinary hearing before Administrative Law Judge Kara Miller that Dillon talked in the phony voice on at least five occasions between February and April 2013.

Miller’s decision says that during the hearing the Health Department played a recording of Dillon speaking to a customer in a “slow, monotone and over-enunciated manner” and saying, “You have reached the Help Desk. This is Mr. Dillon. How may I help you?”

His droid imitation was apparently good enough to fool callers.

One confused customer who spoke to Dillon later called back and told another Health Department worker that she thought “there was a new automated answering system and had hung up when she heard ‘the robot’ answer the phone because she needed to speak to a human about her issues,” the decision says.

[ click to continue reading at DNAinfo ]

Posted on November 2, 2014 by Editor

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