Robot Voice Gets Worker Suspended

November 1, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

A worker’s robot voice got him suspended. Robert Dillon, who works for New York City’s Health Department has been suspended, 20 days without pay for answering customer-service calls in a robot voice.


Worker’s robot voice landed him in hot water. Ronald Dillon, who is a computer specialist for New York City’s Health Department has been suspended for 20 days. His crime?

The worker was caught between February and April 2013, using a robot voice when answering customers, according to the Inquisitr. The Health Department obtained 5 recordings, where the employee could be heard speaking in a “slow, monotone and over-enunciated manner” and saying, “You have reached the Help Desk. This is Mr. Dillon. How may I help you?”

Dillon has worked for the Health Department since 1976 and has never faced disciplinary action before. Dillon revealed that he took the robot voice because many of the customers do not understand him because of his heavy Brooklyn accent.

The worker told Administrative Law Judge, Kara Miller:

“They objected to the tone of my voice so I made it atonal. I articulate each word because I speak fast and my Brooklyn accent is sometimes difficult to understand. I used this tone to to eliminate accusations that I treat callers differently.

Robert Dillon explained that he is not a “people person” and was forced three years ago to transfer to the help desk job, even though he does not have the “requisite customer service background.”

Dillon’s job consists of responding to other employees’ computer problems and to tech questions from New York residents about NYCMED, a web portal that allows healthcare providers to register with the Health Department.

The worker who hates his post has asked for a transfer, but his supervisor has refused. Dillon said:

“It’s a bullying-in-the-workplace issue.”

The worker’s robot voice was pretty convincing, several confused customers, who spoke to Dillon, later called back and told other Health Department employees that they thought there was a new automated answering system in the agency.


Category: News

Comments (2)

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  1. Roman says:

    That’s funny…

  2. Squirrel_Of_Mistri says:



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