Don Daniel

A couple of months back, I was asked by a company to critique final presentations by employees who were applying for a promotion to another department. Each employee was required to make their presentation to myself and two other instructors. Each employee chose their own subject and their presentation was to last no more than 30 minutes. 

All the presentations were excellent but the last one caught us by surprise: the employee chose as her subject, telephone answering/courtesy. She began by playing several actual recordings by a government employee answering, a doctor’s office and a school system. Here are a couple of answerings she recorded and I am sure you have heard them before: “Please listen carefully. Our menu options have changed”; “if you know the party’s extension, dial it now”; “Please remain on the line as we are talking with another customer”.  We have all heard those and a lot more. 

No surprise as to which presentation was best and we recommended she make the presentation to all the company’s employees, which she did.

The other day, I called a local bank which has had the same number forever. I got the “if you know the number of the party you want to speak with, dial it now. If you do not and would like a company directory, please dial one”.  Whenever this happens to me, I automatically just punch 0! Usually works. By the way, answering for our local bank is all done in Zebulon---at least not in the Philippines---- unless the person at the bank has given you their direct line.

The one that gets me every time is when you finally get a human being and you are asked, “What is the purpose of your call?” And I reply (you might consider it rude) “none of your business. Please ask him/her to call me”.  I should say, “This is the husband…….” And hang up. 

The other telephone answering that just gets me is when there is an answer, and the person speaks so fast it sounds like jibberish. Who answers the Forsyth City Hall and county commission phone has obviously taken and passed a training course in speed speaking.

 Here’s a test. Read this as fast you can to a friend, husband, wife or fellow employee and see if they can understand what you said. Ready? YouhavereachedtheofficeoffunkleandfunkleWe specializeinspeedreadingandnotlisteningSoleaveyour nameagesexandphonenumberandwemaycallyoubackthankyouforcallingandyourpatience. 

REMEMBER a couple of columns ago I wondered how inmates in jail or prison were able to receive “merchandise, drugs, and even cell phones” while they were incarcerated.

Well, the Georgia Department of Corrections has issued a news release with the headline “GCC Contraband Interdiction Efforts Continue in Fourth Quarter 2019” with a sub-headline “More than 8,300 items seized”. Here are a few of the items seized at state prisons just between October and December 2019: 2,563 cellphones, 2,563 handmade weapons, 7,142.53 grams of marijuana, 1057.30 grams of cocaine, 44 bottles of alcohol and 20 syringes were just a few of the items  seized by GDC Tactical Squads and K9 units.

The release reveals just how porous the prisons are, just as easy to get in and just as easy to get stuff from the outside. Didn’t reveal how the inmates get the contraband stuff. 

I guess I am totally disillusioned. I thought you are supposed to be punished when sentenced to prison. But the inmates get three meals a day, medical, hospital and dental care, television, etc. That’s more than they got when they were not incarcerated. A lack of punishment.

OVER AT the county, the commissioners are getting back in to their routine. Already we have paid off the county’s United Bank credit card with a $38,077.34 taxpayer check and an earlier check for $5,494.14 which included Marco’s Pizza for $85.42 for obviously pizzas. A lotta Christmas charging went on at Walmart and Hobby Lobby. Along with Commissioners John Ambrose and Greg Tapley,  61 county employees got $480 each for phone stipends; county attorney Benjamin Vaughn got his check, $3,271.29 (wonder how big his check was from the Board of Education?)

One run of 28 checks were written for a total of $66,020.74 taxpayer money.

IT IS going to be interesting to get the expense reports for the mayor, council, city manager, et al for having their “get away from Forsyth” annual soiree escape to Atlanta and also attending the annual Georgia Municipal Association Day At The Capitol. As the picture on Facebook portrayed, even a couple of members of the Board of Education and county commission attended the “Wild Hog Supper” with the tickets purchased by one of our Legislators, Dale Washburn. 

Yes, I will also file an Open Records Request for the Atlanta trip by the BOE members, county commissioners and Forsyth City Council entourage. After all, it is our taxpayer money no matter where it is spent. It will be interesting to see Rep. Washburn’s expense report to find out if he paid for all of Monroe County’s people to attend the glad handing supper or a favorite lobbyist paid for Rep. Washburn’s gratuity for his Monroe County friends.

I WAS asked this question: why does the deputy on duty when the commissioners meet, call the Chairman “Coach? And he’s Chairman deputy! 

GUESS I need to apologize for not having “The Question” in last week’s paper but I got on a deserved tangent and ran out of space. So here’s The Question for this week: how many new homes were built in the county last year? First correct answer after 12 noon on Thursday gets the certificate for a Dairy Queen Blizzard, Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetizer, slice of Jonah’s pizza, slice of Shoney’s strawberry pie, single dip of ice cream at Scoops, Forsyth Main Street t-shirt.

COMING UP this Friday night is the annual Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce annual banquet to be held at Monroe County Conference Center. A lot of people will be recognized and the food is always in abundance as well as a cash bar. Show up and meet the new executive director of the chamber. Call the Chamber at 888-642-4628 to reserve your tickets. 

THEN ON Sunday night at 6, Paran Baptist Church, up here in Blount, is going to have a free movie, “Overcomer”. I haven’t seen it but Reporter Editor Will Davis reports it is a very uplifting Christian-themed movie for all the family. So come on up to Paran Church at 5691 Ga. Hwy 42 North in the center of Blount at 6 p.m. Sunday. Sorry, no popcorn will be available. Bring your own. 

After the movie, snacks and I betcha a lot of home-made goodies will be available. Come on up to “down town” Blount.

Don Daniel is the founder and former publisher of The Monroe County Reporter. Email him at  to answer The Question or make a comment. Don’t forget to listen to The Reporter On The Radio on Majic 100 Sunday mornings at 7.