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To think school receptionists are much the same as doctors receptionists?

(71 Posts)
saltnpepa Wed 13-May-15 17:02:34

In terms of attitude I mean. Apologies to anyone who is a lovely receptionist at either docs or schools and I have known a few of each. But, as a fairly new parent at a school I notice a few of the receptionists have the similar sort of bad attitude as is normally found at the doctors - power crazed, snotty atmosphere, unfriendly and nosy. Is it just me or are most schools beset by such unpleasant women at the front desk?

RainbowFlutterby Wed 13-May-15 17:03:59

At DS's infant school - yes, they were really stroppy. At his junior school - no, they're lovely and really helpful.

weebarra Wed 13-May-15 17:04:44

Not in my experience. Our lovely school receptionist brought DS1 home herself when he was ill at school the day after my first chemo. I really appreciated that.

farewellfigure Wed 13-May-15 17:05:37

I'm going for an interview for an admin assistant on Friday and I'm lovely! Oh hang on, maybe that means I won't get the job. Or worse, if I DO get the job I'll turn into a power-crazed, unfriendly and snotty person. Oh heck.

I think you're BU to be honest. The ones at DS's school are all lovely. And the doctor's receptionist is my friend and she's lovely too. I think you've been a bit unlucky.

HighwayDragon Wed 13-May-15 17:06:10

Our office is manned by 3 women, they barely stop all day and are often having to deal with stroppy parents, sick kids and all the admin. So yes sometimes they are snappy, we're all human.

Karma1981 Wed 13-May-15 17:06:22

My children's school receptionists are fantastic, go above and beyond there duty.

Malenky Wed 13-May-15 17:19:53

The receptionists at my school hated me and the ones at the doctors seem to be drunk with power sometimes. I understand that people can often be very rude but I was a receptionist at an optician's and tried very hard to be polite and pleasant to everyone even if I'd had a bad day so I don't see that as an excuse. Some people can become very upset if they're treated badly/rudely for no reason, it can spoil their whole day.

soapboxqueen Wed 13-May-15 17:24:48

You get the odd one that's horrid but for the most part they are lovely.

EustaciaBenson Wed 13-May-15 17:30:00

I used to work in the office at an opticians and I've seen the receptionists shouted at, pushed around and even the once spat at. On the other hand I have been registered at 5 different doctors surgeries, through moving a lot, and never come across a nasty receptionist. Brisk yes, but I find if I'm polite then they are polite back

Finola1step Wed 13-May-15 17:34:30

Our school office manager is a man.

WorraLiberty Wed 13-May-15 17:34:57

At the school where I'm a governor, they're really lovely. I often make sure they get a thanks/mention in governing body meetings, to let them know how much we appreciate them.

At my DS2's school (upper site) they're really lovely too and very helpful.

DS3's school (lower site), they're mostly very rude and standoffish.

exLtEveDallasNoBollocks Wed 13-May-15 17:36:10

I can't imagine a school receptionist being horrible - what can they be horrible about exactly? I'm intrigued.

saltnpepa Wed 13-May-15 17:44:20

I find one in particular seems to find any contact with parents exasperating. One of them is lovely but the other is really rude, almost falls short of eye rolling, she's lovely to the kids though.

hollieberrie Wed 13-May-15 17:47:02

I work at a school and yes our receptionist is awful! On the other hand, the receptionists at my GPs surgery are lovely smile

Purplehonesty Wed 13-May-15 17:48:49

I have come across a few in previous surgeries but luckily dd is really cute so everyone at the GPs loves her and therefore is nice to me. Plus I made a cake for one of them once (my job) and ever since then I never fail to get an apt same day. Could be a conincidence tho!

School (ds) seem ok if a little unfriendly. Maybe I should send dd in if I need anything...or take cake.grin

NKfell Wed 13-May-15 17:52:41

Once when I had to pick up DS because he felt sickly the receptionist said "well he hasn't actually been sick. He's been sat there just fine and he looks alright to me so... I don't know"

As if she wanted him to vomit right there and when she said the exasperated 'I don't know' I thought 'what don't you know? He's 5, he loves school!'

When he did vomit (in my nice clean car) I almost rang her to let her know! At that point the boy said "I feel OK now, can we go back to school?" ha


NKfell Wed 13-May-15 17:53:40

Oh and my GPs receptionists are also lovely!

sadwidow28 Wed 13-May-15 17:55:19

I find that most of the school receptionists are lovely, caring and helpful.

But the first school receptionist I actually recall with significance terrified me and had me trembling if I needed to ask about anything. AND I WAS A TEACHER! grin

Phones were answered brusquely, teachers had to return the red pen that had 'run out' before being given a new one; 'late' collection/return of the class register was commented on; forgetting to initial a pupil's absence letter as 'read' would lead to a telling off (often in front of others). I could go on....

She was extremely efficient though and ruled that purse strings as if it was her own money!

Idontseeanydragons Wed 13-May-15 18:00:15

In all honesty it would be a cold day in hell before I ever worked as a receptionist again. Some of the other receptionists I had to deal with were awful but on the whole we were all lovely. The general public are usually as well although I (and my family) did get threatened once or twice.
School receptionists here are great too, very busy and very much appreciated.
From my own experience YABU but there are bad people in all jobs.

cruikshank Wed 13-May-15 18:11:01

If I had to deal with patients/parents giving me grief about all kinds of shite plus getting grief from doctors/teachers as well, I'd probably be really shirty too. I used to work for a health authority and the amount of crap that drs' receptionists had to deal with from GPs who thought they were God Almighty himself really shocked me. Also, when I'm in school dropping off at breakfast club I hear parents going off on one to receptionists who have no responsibility at all for what the parents are complaining about, while simultaneously performing five different tasks and making what seems like a billion cups of tea an hour for various people. Both are stressful jobs that are not particularly well-paid and also not particularly well-defined either, which makes them even more stressful.

Having said that, it is a downer when someone is rude to you. But you might be the 45th annoyance of the day and it's still only 10 am.

FadedRed Wed 13-May-15 18:59:39

Yeah you will always get a few people who should not be in a public facing role, but mostly they are good people doing extremely difficult jobs, getting lots of stress from both sides of the counter. Don't forget that they are NOT responsible for 'the rules' - it is the GP's, Managers, Head Teachers etc who tell them what the 'system' is and they have to work to it. The number of stroppy people who give the receptionists hell then are all sweetness and light to the Doctors/Teachers is amazing!

cruikshank Wed 13-May-15 19:08:45

FadedRed - agree completely. I used to always get huffy when the Dr's receptionist asked me why I wanted an appointment. Then when I worked for the HA I found out that she only did so because she'd been shouted at and ordered to by her boss. They get the worst of both worlds - having to uphold rules and procedures, with zero input as to what those rules and procedures are. And then having to explain them to irate people, when they have no ownership of them.

The80sweregreat Wed 13-May-15 19:08:47

My dentist ones couldnt smile if they tried! Primary admin staff were also snotty, senior ones were lovely. Its horrible as i am always polite, they seem to have a chip on their shoulder.

Welshmaenad Wed 13-May-15 19:10:04

Our school secretary is a bit brusque but has a heart of gold.

My doctors receptionists are full on awesome, they go above and beyond for me and I love them!

SpottyTeacakes Wed 13-May-15 19:17:36

I used to be a nice receptionist but the patients broke me. Now I'm a dragon grin (not really I'm lovely yet I've still had people be so horrible to me that I've cried!).

Dd's school receptionists are ok. One is nice and one is a bit scary grin

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