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?"
"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.