June 10, 2016
If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll note I’ve been on a tirade because I’ve had to deal with Voicemail. Crazy amounts, from my bank, medical doctor, the hospital, to prescription mail order pharmacy. This morning I called a number for a dishwasher repair. The online link claimed it was local. But after I reached ::groan:: voice mail, I was routed overseas. I immediately hung up and found somebody not only local but honest. Minutes later, I disconnected from a pleasant human, breathing a sigh of relief. I had an appointment, knowledge of the charge and the date and time the repairman would arrive. And get this, the woman on the other end thanked me for my business!
Two weeks ago, I had to call Memorial Hospital (yes, I’m calling you out, Memorial Hospital) because I had to locate hospital records from a foot surgery I underwent in 2012. After listening to voice mail (that quite frankly wasn’t very caring), I was connected with Medical Records, and I am not kidding when I tell you I got this response from a recording, “IF YOU HAVE REACHED THIS NUMBER BY MISTAKE, HANG UP.”
This did not make me fall in love. I promptly dialed the main line and asked to talk to a manager. Good luck with that one. Voice mail took me back to an eventual human being. Now I worked in Customer Service for years; I like people. I’m a nice person and I’ll bend over backwards to help maintain the ha ha ha (this is killing me) old-fashioned philosophy the customer is always right.
Not these days. These days, I’m seeing red over spending beaucoup time trying to order a product, get service, or, in my case, my medical records.
Anyway, I digress. Back to Memorial Hospital. I said to the person on the phone. “Ma’am, after ten minutes of looking for Medical Records, I reached the number and it told me to hang up. Do you think that’s a caring thing for a hospital to have as its recording?”
I wanted satisfaction. I wanted her to say to me, “Oh, ma’am, I’m so sorry I will talk to someone about having that changed right away.”
Know what she said? “I’m sorry, but that’s a calling tree and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Excuse me? Are we not in charge of the machines?
Voice mail, in saving businesses money, has cost people jobs and has heightened customer dissatisfaction. It is also depersonalizing the human race. Human beings need personal interaction to feel human. It’s the reason God gave Adam Eve in the Garden of Eden!
Moreover, voice mail takes away from my writing time when I have to spend half an hour to an hour trying to talk to a mortal. I’m only half kidding when I say, there’s nothing romantic about voice mail.
In romance we need human interaction to fall in love. I have nothing in common with a machine that says, press 1, press 2…Oy Oy Oy. Unless, of course, I’m writing a character in a picket line protesting Voice Mail and a computer programmer tries to cross. Talk about a plot conflict.
Do you love Voice Mail? Do you wake up every day, anxious to talk to a machine? Maybe it’s me. Perhaps this is a sci-fi writer’s idea of a terrific story. But I’m telling you, folks, there’s nothing romantic about voice mail!