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July 27, 2013

As Time Goes By: I want to talk to a real person before the robots take over

Every now and then, I need to vent about things that irk me. I am starting to dislike my telephone with a passion. 

The reason for this is that, when you dial a business, instead of a flesh-and-blood person, you get a disembodied voice that sounds like a bad thriller movie from 1952. Even Farad, my good buddy from Bombay, India, was better than that tinny voice that sounds like the days when you opened a can with that can opener that left those jagged edges. 

Case in point was a phone call I made to a dental office seeking information. I dialed the number and my conversation went like this:

“Thank you for calling the dental offices of Dr. Yankem, Dr. Hurts and Dr. Wealthy. Please press one if you want to make an appointment; press two if you want something else.” (I pressed No. 2.) (Long pause to let you gather your thoughts.)

“Please listen closely as we have changed things around since the last time you may have called.”

“If you need want to discuss a bill, please press one. If you are unable to pay this month’s installment and want to plead your case and give a rational reason why you will be late and want to avoid the $50 late fee, press two.” (Tinny laughter is heard in the background. Far in the background, you hear a grating voice say “Oilcan.”)

“If you are bleeding from a recent tooth extraction and need help from a dentist, please press three. If you are really bleeding badly from two or more teeth or if you have fractured your jaw, please hang up and dial 911. That way you will become someone else’s problem.”

There is a long pause now, and you hear noise in the background like people getting up from a chair, a book falling on the floor and uncontrolled laughter reminiscent of the fat mechanical lady that used to be in the front of the funhouse. (Remember those days?)

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