Florida tax collector makes calls more pleasant

VIDEO - You pick up the phone to call a business or government office and you're stuck listening to a pre-recorded message, but Darlene Spence was tasked with creating a new greeting...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

At some point, we all have to deal with the tax collector.

Whether it’s dealing with property taxes or renewing your driver’s license. But the next time you call, be prepared for this.

“Hello, hello, hello.”

“It’s not the same traditional boring message,” Anne Gannon said.

Palm Beach County tax collector Anne Gannon wanted to try something new.

Surveys showed callers to the office were not happy.

“They waited too long on phone before they could get to the department or person they wanted to talk to,” Gannon said.

So the phone maze has been reduced from a thick binder to a one-sheet diagram as part of what the agency calls its’ “Ungovernment Experience”.

“You might be pleasantly surprised to find out the tax collector’s fancy new message didn’t cost taxpayers one additional cent,” Jon Shainman said.

That’s because of Darlene Spence. The 25-year veteran of the office carries quite a tune.

She and a colleague were tasked with creating a new greeting, and one day she freestyled the vocals.

“So I figure if I mix the singing with the talking, we’d still keep it professional and fun,” Spence said.

As for the man whose voice graced the office phone line for decades and who helped Spence produce the new greeting, he holds no grudges.

“I don’t feel displaced or anything. We’re in an era of change and change is good,” David Brady said.

In this era of change, you might not have to always go to an agency office. Sometimes, you can do things online.

“Please log onto our website at www.taxcollectorpbc.com,” Spence said.