Friday, February 28, 2003

interacting with utility companies {aka d�j� me} {aka your call is important to us Part II: Your call continues to remain important, for a long long time}

So I try calling in about a refund cheque yet again (no medals for perseverance; only muzak). And the lady at the desk is again faced with a problem: human speech stream input does not comply with information in a formatted table visible on computer screen. Federal panic initiated. Sir, let me transfer you to {name suppressed only out of politeness} department.

Muzak. I sing along, since I know the song by now. Of course, cut it off and ask me to sing, and I'd be helpless.

You have reached the {previously suppressed name} department. Your call is important to you (we all know where that came from) If you know your party's extension, please enter it now (yeah, if I knew half of that, I'd be ruling the moon now) (without a pause) if not press 1 for a directory lookup ("I want to break free" is the first song that comes to mind) or please hold while we transfer you to an attendant

you guessed it. the muzak countdown. same song. same cadences. Wonder if Jeopardy has a muzak round...

you are being transferred to an automated answering service. However, the person at extension {suppressed for privacy} does not subscribe to this service. Call forwarding cannot be completed at this time. Redirecting you to main switchboard. One moment please ...

(Ring ring ring) Finally, a human voice. She's confused as well. And she (no! no!) transfers me to the {name previously suppressed out of politeness} department. Here we go again ...

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