Attention Service Desk: Two Zero One

If you have ever been in a Safeway grocery store you have probably heard this page, possibly more than once. People have been asking about it on the Internet. They want to know what it means when the automated paging system says, “Attention Service Desk: Two…Zero…One”.

Admittedly, so did I. In fact, that’s how I know people have been searching for the meaning of “Attention Service Desk 201” — because I have found plenty of Websites where they ask the question. All they usually get in reply is wild speculation (that happens to be wrong).

I never really think about this page except when I’m in Safeway or really, really bored. But today I finally decided to ask one of the employees what it means.

“That just means there is a phone call on line 201,” she told me. Doh! Apparently, Safeway has a policy requiring someone to answer a phone call within a certain amount of time.

So the next time you’re in Safeway and you hear “Attention Service Desk 201”, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean someone is standing unattended at the service desk. Nor does it mean that someone wants to buy beer or alcohol. It just means that someone is waiting on the phone to speak to a real person … and that Safeway is trying to ensure that a real person picks up the line.

None of which has anything to do with science fiction and fantasy, I realize, but it’s tough to come up with a good topic right now and I wanted to say something about that before I forgot it.

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