Monday, September 25, 2017

Satan's Voice Mail

Just exactly who had this idea that you could program machines to handle any question you might have when you call a business? I’m trying to track a lost package through the Post Office phone number to find out where it is after three months missing in action and all they can say is “Customer requested that it be re-shipped on Sept. 1 to this address.”

Yep! That customer was me and 24 days later, it still ain’t here. So I have a simple question:

“Where the hell is it now?!!! And when will I get it?”

But the machine seemed perfectly satisfied with the amount of information it gave me. And went on to ask, “How can I help you now?” I waited through the 10 options, hoping beyond hope that the last would be, “Would you like to speak to a living breathing human being who might actually answer the question you have?” But no such luck. I was just looped into the closed circuit of useless options.

So I searched online for another phone number for the U.S. Post Office and got it, but of course, the option I wanted “Tracking a package” put me right back onto Satan’s Merry-Go-Around.

“Are you asking about a package whose number ends in _______?”


“ Customer requested that it be re-shipped on Sept. 1 to this address. How can I help you now?”

My desk in now dented from where I repeatedly smashed the phone into it.

Well, why bother to have the capability of talking on the phone to anyone. When you dial a number, we should just get put on the Generic Voice Mail For All.

“Would you like to speak to Abdul? Wayan? Kwasi? Jennifer? Kevin? Which Kevin? Which Kevin Smith? Which Kevin Smith that lives in Oklahoma?” And so on down the line of 7 billion earthly inhabitants. And if you got them:

“Would you like to speak to them about the 35 cents they owe you from the dinner out you had at September 3rd, 1987? Would you like them to recall the name of the North Dakota gas station attendant who overfilled your tank 12 years ago? Would you like to discuss the possibility of meeting for coffee at Starbucks? Which one? Pick from the one on this corner or that or down the street or around the block. Do you know in advance what you’d like to order? Do you have another choice if they’re out of gluten-free kosher soymilk?”

And so on.

People may be quirky, weird, rude, smell bad, talk funny, have no idea of how to help you, but I’d kill for a phone conversation with a human being in the post office who might have some clue as to how to find my lost box of books. If you know how I could do that, give me call and choose voice option number 647b. That should do it.

Thank you for contacting me. And please stay on the line if you’d like to participate in a survey about your experience.

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