Meet your new replacement: http://xtramsn.co.nz/technology/0,,13441-5312950,00.html
For just under 50,000 yen (US$430) a month, a fraction of the cost of a human temp, the PeopleStaff agency will dispatch Hello Kitty Robo, a robotic receptionist capable of sensing a visitor's presence, greeting him or her and holding simple conversations.
After years of dealing with front-office types that are legally dead from the neck up, or 'too pretty to know anything' Hello Kitty could only be an improvement!
Especially in government departments!
An added bonus for employers would be that the staff won't hang around reception trying to shag the new receptionist. if they still persist (and I wouldn't be surprised), the matter won't result in a sexual harassment kerfuffle. In the worst case, a damp cloth will soon fix any...Indiscretions.
Hello Kitty could easily tolerate being told to sod off and die 24/7, without exposing the employer to damages for stress in the workplace, thus- Telemarketing!
Helpdesks would be another application, where the customer probably wouldn't know the difference.