Saturday, July 19, 2008

We're Here to Help You Anytime Day or Night - Whatever is Convenient For You

Those are the words I recently heard while attempting to contact by phone a business with whom I had to do some business. "We're here to help you anytime day or night - whatever is convenient for you."

And all the while I'm listening to the background music and waiting for a REAL LIVE PERSON to speak to me I'm thinking to myself, "What do they mean by anytime? And what do they mean by convenient?" Thankfully I can set my phone to speaker phone and go about my business while I wait. I can't leave the room, however, for then I won't be able to hear when that REAL LIVE PERSON comes on the line. And where do they get That Music anyway? It's excruciating to my ears and to my musical preferences.

It took twenty minutes flat for this business to come to my aid anytime and conveniently!

I'm Sorry, but I'm old enough to remember when a REAL LIVE OPERATOR dialed the numbers for me. I simply picked up the phone, gave the operator the number I wished to call, and she made a connection for me and a REAL LIVE PERSON answered on the other end. In a moment's time, in almost the twinkling of an eye, I was in speaking contact with the intended party. No computer responses, no "if this, press 1" or "if that, press 2". And then onward to another list of "if this", and "if that", ad infinitum.

Today, technology and efficiency require me to waste half an hour to get a simple answer to an important question. My time is not important????

But, Hey! If you would like to live a simpler phone life, you can call me at my old number. Just ask your local operator to connect you to 45J11. When the phone rings it will ring one long and one short. My neighbors down the road, whose number is 45J12, will know that the call is for me and not for them. Their signal, as you might guess is one long and two shorts. They may pick up and listen in on my conversation, but they will be smart enough to wait a moment or two to insure that I am already on the line before they do so. That was the old party-line system, a swift source of neighborhood news. It may have been aggravating to suspect your neighbors were listening in on your private conversation, but at least it was a simple matter to talk to REAL LIVE PEOPLE!


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