You know what I hate?  Using my credit card over the phone.  Or putting any number longer than a local or international number into a phone.  Because that requires entering the number in before the automated voice says:  I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that, try again.  Well, of course you didn’t catch that.  It wasn’t a ball.  Or my shoe, hurtling towards your head.  You don’t even have a head.  You are a machine.  May I speak to a real person, please?

Talking to a machine is driving me so nuts that I’m talking to a machine.  Figure that out.

And then the machine ‘connects you to an advisor’.  But there isn’t a connection, really.  No, there is no human understanding.  But there is classical music.  However, this is not a put on your best clothes and get carried away by the symphony for a few hours kind of experience.  This is sitting in your robe and doodling circles on an envelope while having tinny shit shoved in your ear.

By the time you hear a voice, you realise that in your boredom and frustration your circling pen has made a hole in the envelope.  Through both sides.  And then it dawns on you that all the automated voice said was:  Your call is important to us, please hold.  Hold what?  My head, so my brain doesn’t leak out my ears?  Ok, I think I will.

And you know the voice doesn’t really care.  It automated.  But what it’s really saying is: Your call is not important to us, please hang up.  You are one of a million people on the line right now.  We don’t want to help you.  In fact it would help us if you took your problem to the internet.  (I did, the internet told me to call and listen to crappy music for three hours).  And it always amuses me when that suggestion doesn’t work.  What about the times when you’re calling about your internet connection?  Well, I would visit the website, if I could get online, which is why I’m calling.  Well, that wasn’t the reason for my call today, but I’m sure someone out there is on hold for that very reason.  That person is annoyed because he or she is being told to ‘visit the website’.

I’ve worked in call centres before.  Ok, one.  I do know that the actual humans on the phone do their best.  And if I haven’t lost the power of speech/hung up by the time I do get through to one, I’m nice to them.  Partly because I’m so very excited that the music is off and I’m talking to a human.

I’m writing this in the office.  There is a wall between me and the phone.  We have decided we need some time apart.

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