Along with the rest of humanity except for Oprah, I spend an awful lot of time each day listening to voice mail messages of assorted businesses and governmental agencies. Some of this is because I am, at any given moment, trying to straighten something out, trying to understand something, trying to order something, or trying to make an appointment somewhere for something. These are my favorites:
1. Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed.
2. We are experiencing unusually high caller volume at present. Please call back later.
3. We are experiencing unusually high caller volume at present. Your call is very important to us. Please hold and your call will be taken by the next available operator.
4. If you haven’t heard your category, press # and the options will repeat.
5. Thank you for calling. Goodbye. (Disconnect)
6. If you would like to hear these menu options repeated, please press the pound key (Pressing the pound key results in a disconnect)
#1 isn’t even worth talking about, except to say that the first couple times I heard it, I was seriously impressed. It also made me seriously hungry to hear the word “menu.” It took a few phone calls for me to realize that nobody’s menu options had changed but that some really clever PR person was vacationing in some place that was a lot better than anything I could ever afford, after coming up with that brilliant voice mail message idea.
Ditto for #2. I kept thinking that whoever I was calling was mighty popular, indeed. And if it was a clothing catalogue, and if I just wanted to ask a question about an item, you’d better believe by the time someone picked up, I ordered it. After all, I knew that “unusually high caller volume” meant that everyone was ordering the exact same thing I wanted to ask about.
#3 sends me into a rage. Do not, under any circumstances, tell me my call is important to you. Just hire another damn operator.
#4 messes with me every single time. So I always press some random button, in an attempt to talk to a live person, and I’ll get something like:
“This is the surgical line. Please speak clearly and indicate a date you’d like to have your amputation.” Or
“This is Financing. Give us your credit card number and we will complete your payment, along with a $50 service fee.”
#5 always gives me that same abandoned feeling in the pit of my stomach as when Danny Irons dumped me right before the senior prom, after I had already bought tickets. But that’s not what this post is about, so I’ll move on.
#6 is the same as #5 but if I has also bought a dress that couldn’t be returned.
I’m ending now because I’m going into the kitchen to have breakfast, and my menu options have changed.