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Hotline training


Today was my first Master Gardener Hotline day. I was late, arriving at 9:30 instead of 9:15 as the instructions suggested. What was worse, however, was the even later arrival of the two veteran hotline people and the other junior hotline gardener. They arrived between 10 and 25 minutes late, while I wandered around wondering where I was supposed to start and what I was supposed to do.

Eventually the other three people showed up, and showed me how to get the messages from the voice mail. I wrote down the names, numbers and questions, and called back the first person after researching her question. What i found strange about the calls were that the answers of each of the questions could have been found with a simple google search. Why call the hotline when you can just look up the answer in the Intarweb™

Of course, by gathering the questions into a hotline log, answering them, then posting the answers on the master gardener website, we'd have a phenomenal resource for local answers.

Honestly, I wasn't really looking forward to answering questions on hotline. I was sure to know none of the questions asked, given I haven't been in the garden for a while now, with ultimate and work, I haven't had much time. We were told to answer the phone, get a phone number, and offer to call back with the answer after researching the question.

I was worried about getting too may calls. I needn't have been worried, though, as any calls that were too many were allowed to roll over to voice mail. No problem. However, what I had problem with was the non-stop questions from one caller: I'd answer the original question, and as I'm about to say good bye, thanks for calling, she asked another question. I'd answer that question, only to be asked the next question. I kept wanting to say, "How about asking me all of the questions so that I can look up all the answers at once?"


It was mostly a successful hotline experience.