Automated telephone answering systems can drive you up the wall. Last week I needed some information from a business so I called and of course no live human answered (perish the thought…how archaic). The friendly female voice sincerely welcomed me and started listing all the options: press 1 for this, 2 for that, and so on all the way to press 8 for operator which I did because none of the seven previous options were what I needed. When I pressed 8 the original female voice came back on sincerely welcoming me and started listing the options again.
I was trapped in a Twilight Zone never-ending loop. Then there are the voicemails that sound ridiculous, for example, “you have reached the desk of so and so.” Well, I don’t want to talk to a desk. I want a person. Then we have the ones that say, “Hi, you have reached so and so. I am away until October 16th so please leave a message”. OK, except that I’m calling on October 23rd. And finally there’s my all-time favourite irritant (is that an oxymoron?). I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every time I call somewhere and get the following message: “Due to a high volume of calls, all of our representatives are busy with other customers. However, your call is important to us so please stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly”. This happens so often that I’ve come to believe this is their standard message. They want us to think they’re always and forever inundated with such a high volume of calls, when what they really don’t want to do is be bothered to pay a live person to answer the phone, which they would do if my call actually was important to them.