Whoever had the bright idea that resulted in the automated phone answering systems for companies is probably very proud of him or herself, but I must protest; there is nothing quite as annoying as being led through a minefield of meaningless suggestions and prompts by a disembodied voice pretending to know why I'm calling and failing miserably at a task it can't possibly perform.
A recording, as intuitive as it may be in anticipating your needs, simply CAN NOT react as quickly as all but the slowest of human synapses and, invariably, the reason for my call is far down the list of frequently asked questions the company receives from its customers, so by the time my question is relevant my blood pressure has spiked, my voice has risen to a near inaudible screech and the veins on my neck are bulging like Schwartzenegger's forearms.
I'm sure that when the idea was presented at some smoky board room meeting that the powers that were though it quite the moneymaking idea; automate the secretarial task of answering phones and cut back on manpower, saving the company money. Those ladies should be home raising babies anyway, right?
But when the human touch is foregone in favor of the monotone repetition of platitudinous prerecorded pablum that sounds as though it were written with illiterate idiots in mind, then the company is basically saying, "We really don't care enough about whatever issue you have to bother greeting you when you call with the friendly voice of a well trained and helpful HUMAN, so, hopefully, you will eventually just become confused and hang up or have a massive stroke and plotz."
And what does it say about the service that the company provides that it has so many calls from customers either complaining or confused about it that they must have a COMPUTER handle the volume? And why do they have so many options to choose from? Maybe I should reconsider being a customer...but wait! I don't have choice! Only one power company in this area! Only one cable service! And yes, I know I could get a dish, but I want to be able to watch television at any time, not just when there happens to be an absence of clouds and solar flares. But I digress.
So, the next time you get a prerecorded computerized greeting from the phone company or cable company when you call them for help, just start pressing the "zero" button on your phone and keep pressing in rapid succession for, let's say, twenty seconds. Usually that gets you to an agent and bypasses the automated system and if THAT doesn't work, take the time to drive down to the office and get in front of someone who HAS to listen to you explain why automated telephone answering systems MUST DIE!
But, please, be polite. No need to be rude.
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