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Thursday, 6 March 2014

So you want to make a credit card payment...

My father never said I was blonde. He always said I was...special.. which is far from average. Nothing worse than mediocrity. Actually there is. Stupidity beats mediocrity. By far! Now let's just think together. Would you ever want to be average, insignificant and without any perspective? Neither did I and my father knew that! No worries here. I would never become part of a pack. My blondness wouldn't let me by the way! My father was a smarty and he knew that girlies like me, living in their own world, are able to invent all sorts of things that may look odd for some. But nothing like answering machines. Let me just justify myself.

Today was a long day. Not longer than others cos we all know that, even if the Babylonians divided the time from sunrise to sunset into 12 hours, the Egyptians were the ones who made things clearer: a day has only 24 hours. Not less, not more! So, I had a difficult day today just because I had to make some phone calls. The important know...end of the year, bills, all sort of funny and exciting things we all love to bits. What I realised after calling all these important people is that they may be even more important than I thought. Yes, because none of them take calls anymore. 21 century, you may argue. That's true, nowadays answering machines replaced the human touch. Let me just tell you how those answering machines work. 

Let's pretend you have an emergency with your internet, so you have to call your net provider. On top of that you want to find out when a parcel sent ages ago would finally arrive. Also, why on earth you have to pay for a bill that doesn't belong to you. Be prepared for long calls. If you are something like me, you would notice the odds in the odds. Like that all these companies you try to reach have approached the same software designer to create their computer generated systems. "Welcome to the..." is the greeting message which is fine cos we all like to be wanted. Then "select one of the following 5 options". Fine again. Then, always for option number 5.... "press 9", which sounds quite confusing for...a blonde. But let's go further. "Tell me in a few words what are you calling about". This is the part when you can have fun. I had lots... If you like games, this is the moment when you can play with words. Serious people would just record something like "fault" or "account" or whatever their problem is. Fun girls like me would go"the grass is green" or "I'm bored" or "I want a day off" or would even release a nice and dirty swearing, which would stay just between you and the answering machine. But no matter if you are a traditionalist or a kind of crazy girl like me, the system would beat you...because the next option after you just spit the swearing out is ...."so, you want to make a credit card payment. Let me just put you through our payment system". I told you the machine knows better. Let's pretend you are calling because you have a fault on the line. This is your problem. The company's worry is...your money! 

Let's also assume that you had enough of chatting with a machine. Don't, because you would be transferred to a call centre on the other side of the planet. First of all, you may understand less than you did when you followed the computer generated system's options. Then they wouldn't understand you either because they have no clue of what happens in your country. Then if the whole conversation with the company's robot takes 10 minutes (believe me when I'm saying that my stopwatch counted that!), making your problem comprehended by the call centre staff would steal you a precious hour.  I kind of went that way too, so no need for you to try it. 

So, I had a day talking to robots and I am almost happy at the end of it. I can now say that I waisted 3 hours on 5 phone convos with an artificial intelligence, but I accomplished my mission. So, happy about the outcome, not so thrilled about the time spent on choosing options that all took me to opening my wallet. But definitely more satisfied than that Facebook personal message I got earlier in the morning from a guy based in Florida. Not that Florida wouldn't make me happy! He said that I am "more beautiful than the sun and the moon and such beauty can never be walked away by a man who believes in nature and in our further relationship". Now, I am not sure what relationship he refers to, but I know for sure that I prefer talking to any answering machine than to a stranger...stalker! I kind of believe that guys like you, Florida dude,  invented the computer generated systems with their 5 option choices! :)

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