Anorak News | Force Smile

Force Smile

by | 30th, November 2005

‘“HELLO, police. What seems to be the problem?” says the cheery voice on the end of your call to the emergency services.

‘Try to think of it less as a kidnapping and more of a spontaneous holiday, sir’

“My house is being burgled. I’m terrified,” gushes the caller.

“Try not to worry madam. We stock a full range of goods and services and can replace any lost or damaged items. Did you keep your receipts and take out any additional in-store insurance cover?”

Such a conversation has yet to happen. But it might. As the Mail reports, the West Mercia Police Force has just recruited Mary Gober, the motivational guru who has worked for Marks & Spencer.

Nicknamed Mrs Motivator, American Gober has been employed for a fee of £200,000 to devise a training scheme which will invigorate they who handle 999 calls and general switchboard enquiries.

Gober will encourage the men and women who spend their lives sat in neon-lit rooms to “think outside the box”.

Predictably, the force has been accused of wasting taxpayers’ money. Paul Keetch, Liberal Democrat MP for Hereford, wants to know why a trainer wasn’t brought in for much less from another part of the force.

The Mail says that for Gober’s fee, the area could have employed another four officers on the beat.

But Gober got the call after the job was put out to tender. As a police spokesman explains: “By taking a can-do approach rather than using negative words, we feel we can help to put the caller at ease”.

“Put a smile in your voice,” says Gober. “”Everything I do or say is either a service or a disservice to another person.”

Sounds great in theory. But let’s find out if it works in practice. Let’s dial and see. “Hello, caller,” comes the chirpy voice.

“Help! I’m under attack. My life is in jeopardy. They’re coming in through the windows. Come quick. Help!”

“Your call is very important to us. You are held in a gently meandering queue. Try not worry. Think of a green field and lying by a smooth sun-dappled pond… Your call is very important to us…”’

Posted: 30th, November 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink