man vs machine

I would like to talk with a person.

I believe that most people think this and loathe the automated phone systems that pretend to be interested in you but in reality are just a series of choice-generated recorded messages that don’t tell you what you need to know. I really dislike it when I get a call from a machine. I had one yesterday that started off, “Please don’t hang up.” I hung up. And I don’t think I am alone in resenting the complicated menus where we have to press different numbers to navigate our way to find the correct person whose line is busy or join the back of an extensive queue.

Yes I know I am sounding like a grumpy old man, but I dare you to disagree with me!

So, if these are fairly universal loathings and grumbles, why do companies insist on using them? Is there a marketing man somewhere from the companies that install these systems who is doing a fantastic job pulling the wool over the eyes of the customer service departments that use them? Are companies actually under the (false) impression that we love these systems and if we could also spend a long time listening to terrible music we will be even happier when we eventually talk to a human?

But I think I understand what the companies are thinking, especially about the complicated menus. Surely the idea is that if they can direct us first time to a specialist advisor who can help us with our problems we will be happier than if we spend time being bounced from department to department.

I am so glad that God is omniscient, omnicompetent and omnipresent. That way when I pray I get straight through to the one who can help me. First time. Every time. Makes me wonder why I don’t call him more often…

Ring, ring

“Hello, you are through to God. Thank you for calling. Your call is important to me. 
If you are calling with a request to win the lottery, please press 1 fourteen million times as those are the chances of you winning.

If you would like an angelic visitation please press 2. Someone will visit you, but be prepared not to recognise them.

If you would like to complain about something that is going on in your life, please press 3 and leave a message. I will get back to you but you will find that my answer is more profound than you are wanting.

If you would like to ask for forgiveness, please press 4. By the time the tone has sounded you will be forgiven, just try not to do it again, please.
If you would like to know the meaning of life, please press 42 and listen to me giggle.

For all other enquiries, please press 0 and someone will be with you soon.

If you would like to listen to me, please hold and wait. You may find it helpful to have an open Bible in front of you. Please. It would be nice.”

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