Aug 03

Voicemail hell

Comments (22) by Janie Emaus August 03, 2011 - 6:01 AM

Somewhere along the years, the concept of a real live person on the other end of the phone evolved into that of voicemail. Thus creating a new place called "The Voicemail Loop From Hell."

A place that I have visited way too many times.    

Take the other day, for example.  With a cup of coffee at my side, a pen in hand ready to jot down the needed information, I called my local pharmacy.  After a few rings the computer voice began:

"Please press one for English, two for Spanish."  I pressed one.

The voice then said, "Hola Por favor, escuche con atención." Already, I sensed that I was in trouble.  

I started over.  I pressed one.  "Hello, please listen carefully as our menu has changed.  Press three if you are calling to renew your hormone prescription.  Press four if you are calling to discuss your hot flashes.  Five if you are experiencing memory loss."  I pressed three only to end up back at the beginning of the recording.   "Please listen carefully as our menu has changed."

This time around I pressed five.  Having memory loss should certainly warrant a real live person.  Apparently not. "There are five callers in front of you.  Press one if you'd like to continue holding.  Press two if you are getting annoyed.  Please press three if you have to use the bathroom and are hanging up."

I hit the "0" until my index finger begged for relief. Until my brain screamed for a "real" person.  "Please listen carefully as our menu has changed!"  By the time I got that real person, my coffee was cold and I'd forgotten who I was calling and what I was calling about!  

Sometimes there just isn't ever a real voice, just those computer voices that repeat back to you what you've just said.  Sort of.  I say, "Housewares, please."

The voice says "Okay...Mickey Mouse Ears?  Is that correct?"

"NO!  House...wares."

"I'm sorry.  I didn't get that."

And I don't get you!  Most often I just hang up.

And while I'm at it, I have another pet peeve.  Answering machines that sound as if the person is really picking up the phone.

"Hi...how're you doing?  We...."

I start talking "Hi.  I'm good.  How are you?  I can't wait to see you tonight."

And then I hear the machine voice.  "We can't come to the phone right now."

So, don't I feel like an idiot having just had a heartfelt conversation with an answering machine?

I don't doubt that someday our answering machines will be programmed to carry on conversations.  We can be at a bar in Mexico drinking margaritas while some voice activated computer back at home conducts our business for us.  

I just hope that mine understands how frustrating voicemail can be.  Press one if you agree with my sentiments.

by Janie Emaus August 03, 2011 - 6:01 AM

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Comments (22)

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  • Report Sat Aug 6, 2011 - 5:02 pm
    I have learned quite painfully over the years to NOT press one. Don't press anything. Then the computer automatically transfers you to a live person. I have wasted too many precious hours over my lifetime stuck in voice mail hell. Great piece Janie!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Janie Emaus on Sun Aug 7, 2011 at 3:08 am
  • Report Sun Aug 7, 2011 - 3:08 am
    @Jean James: Thanks, Jean. Sometimes if you don't press anything, the darn phone just hangs up on you!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Aug 4, 2011 - 5:57 am
    by  Anne Kemp
    Great commentary as always!! :) I get so frustrated with getting lost in the "rabbit hole" HAHAHAHA
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Janie Emaus on Thu Aug 4, 2011 at 8:28 am
  • Report Thu Aug 4, 2011 - 8:28 am
    @Anne Kemp: LOL!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Aug 4, 2011 - 3:30 am
    I was in shock the other day when I clicked 'online chat' on Amazon. They quickly escalated the issue and the person on the other end watied until the phone rang to disconnect chat. Can you imagine? A live person called me in less than two minutes! Wow!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Janie Emaus on Thu Aug 4, 2011 at 8:28 am
  • Report Thu Aug 4, 2011 - 8:28 am
    @Ciara Knight: Wow! That's all I can say.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Aug 4, 2011 - 3:30 am
    by  Haralee
    Yes 1! And then if you do not respond correctly becaue you can not remember way back what number to press you are hung up on. So rude.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Janie Emaus on Thu Aug 4, 2011 at 8:27 am
  • Report Thu Aug 4, 2011 - 8:27 am
    @Haralee: It's one of the worst things about our advanced technology.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 8:23 pm
    I scream at the recorded voices sometimes, I'm so irritated. Usually I end up saying "representative" over and over, until they finally transfer me or else press the pound button. This is one of the most irritating things ever.
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by Edie Ramer on Wed Aug 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 8:31 pm
    @Edie rAmer: How about when you get disconnected after waiting through breakfast, lunch & dinner, or so it seems.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 8:32 pm
    @Janie Emaus: Janie, I've had that happen too. Argh.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 8:17 pm
    Oh, do I identify with what you've posted, Janie, and I've definitely pressed one! I also especially hate the calls to my phone number that are all automated ads. I've got two numbers at home, for home and business, and I'm particularly peeved when both get called one after the other by the same advertiser. And I'm on the no-call lists!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Janie Emaus on Wed Aug 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 8:30 pm
    @Linda O. Johnston: I 'm not sure about that no-call list. I think it's just a scam.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 6:48 pm
    by  Expat Mum
    Try doing it with a "foreign" accent. My kids actually gather round when I have to make one of these calls. My 4's are interpreted as 0's, I have to exaggerate my R's and my faux American accent is truly terrible. I usually end up hanging up!
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by Expat Mum on Wed Aug 3, 2011 at 8:22 pm
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 7:11 pm
    @Expat Mum: Where are you from?
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 8:22 pm
    by  Expat Mum
    @Janie Emaus: England!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 7:56 pm
    by  Tina Ferraro
    Pressing one! And I, too, have fallen for the machine that sounds real ("Hello, this is Sue") to which I say, "Hey, Sue, it's Tina," only to have her talk over me about leaving a message. And I feel ridiculous...
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Janie Emaus on Wed Aug 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 8:01 pm
    @Tina Ferraro: Those messages make me crazy.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 7:44 pm
    Pressing one!!!! I spent a good twenty minutes once repeating into the phone receiver - TECHNICAL SUPPORT! The only response I heard was my husband laughing in the other room.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Janie Emaus on Wed Aug 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 8:00 pm
    @Lynne Marshall: I fell asleep once while on hold with Direct TV. And I dreamed that someone answered.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 6:08 pm
    by  Mitch
    1 !!!!!!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Janie Emaus on Wed Aug 3, 2011 at 7:11 pm
  • Report Wed Aug 3, 2011 - 7:11 pm
    @Mitch: It's so frustrating, isn't it?
    Reply Delete

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