NYC Clerk Suspended for Using ‘Robotic Voice’

NEW YORK (AP) -

If some workplace problems happen because employees are only human, one New York City government worker got in trouble for virtually the opposite.

Ronald Dillon was suspended for 20 days without pay partly for answering an information-technology help line “in a robotic voice.” The city Civil Service Commission upheld the suspension of the 38-year veteran this month.

“You have reached the help desk,” Dillon would regularly answer calls in a static monotone. “This is Mr. Dillon. How may I help you?” Callers complained and one even hung up, later saying she needed “to speak to a human.”

Dillon said at a hearing he was following a call-answering script and articulating carefully because his Brooklyn accent can be difficult to understand. If a caller didn’t hang up, Dillon’s voice changed to a normal tone as the call progressed.

The judge called him a “disgruntled employee” acting out.