A city worker on a help line was suspended from his job for 20 days after callers complained that he was answering customer-service calls in a robotic voice, according to a published report.
Ronald Dillon, 66, who works on a help line for the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, frequently answered calls in a "slow, monotone and overenunciated manner," according to a ruling written by administrative judge Kara J. Miller.
For a six-month period in 2012 and 2013, he would state in an "unprofessional, robotic voice," according to the ruling published by The New York Times, "You have reached the help desk. This is Mr. Dillon. How may I help you?"
Dillon would eventually adjust his voice to a "normal tone," but callers didn't like how he greeted them, according to the Times.
Dillon, who unsuccessfully tried to appeal Miller's decision to suspend him for insubordination, argued that he was only trying to neutralize his Brooklyn accent.
He added that his boss was constantly "harassing" and "belittling" him, according to the Times, and wanted to maintain an even phone voice so that his boss wouldn't have an excuse to harp on him any further.
But Miller concluded Dillon appears to be a "disgruntled employee who is acting out" in response to a change of duties and a new supervisor, the Times reported.
The judge said she believed Dillon, a civil servant since 1975 with a prior record of good service, is capable of reforming his behavior.