Don't have an account? To participate in discussions consider signing up or signing in
facebook connect
Sign-up, its free! Close [x]

Benefits

  • okay Create lasting relationships with other like minded women.
  • okay Blogging, let your voice be heard!
  • okay Interact with other women through blogs,questions and groups.
  • okay Photo Album, upload your most recent vacation pictures.
  • okay Contests, Free weekly prize drawing.
  • okay Weekly Newsletter.


Then: A Female Voice

Now: Voicemail

Remember when you could pick up the phone, dial 411 and get a real live person, someone like Ernestine from Laugh-In? Those were pre-cell phone days. Pre caller ID. Pre answering machines. Prehistoric, if you ask today's younger generation.  

Sometimes, I would call the operator just to find out the time or even the weather in another state.  And then there was that all important emergency call.  When the line was busy for hours at your best friend's house and you just had to tell her about a new song you heard on the radio, you could have the operator cut in with an emergency.  Now I know they can still do that, but with call waiting and text messaging, there probably isn't must need for that service.  And most people probably don't know it still exists.  

But what still does exist, is that need for human contact.  I can't tell you how many times I've been stuck in a voicemail loop from hell.  

With a cup of coffee at my side, a pen in hand ready to take down the needed information, I call, let's say, the Gas Company.  After a few rings the computer voice begins:  “Please press one for English, two for Spanish.”  I press one.  The voice then says, "Hola Por favor, escuche con atención."  Already, I sense that I'm in trouble.  

I start over.  I Press one.  “Hello, please listen carefully as our menu has changed.  Press three if you are calling about your account balance.  Press four if you are calling to add new services.  Six if you'd like to speak to the sales department.  Eight if you are experiencing a gas leak.”  I press three only to end up back at the beginning of the recording.   “Please listen carefully as our menu has changed.”

This time around I press eight.  Obviously a leak warrants a real live person.  Apparently not.  "There are five callers in front of you.  Press one if you'd like to continue holding.  Press two if you are getting annoyed.  Please press three if have to use the bathroom and are hanging up.”

I bang on the "O" until my index finger begs for relief.  Until my brain is screaming for a "real" person.  “Please listen carefully as our menu has changed!”  By the time I get a real person, my coffee is cold and I've forgotten who I was calling and what I was calling about!  

Sometimes there just isn't ever a real voice. But those computer voices that repeat back to you what you've just said. Sort of. I say, "Housewares, please."
The voice says “Okay...Mickey Mouse Ears? Is that correct?"
“NO! House...wares.”
"I'm sorry. I didn't get that."
And I don't get you!  Most often I just hang up.

And while I'm at it, I have another pet peeve.  Answering machines that sound as if the person is really picking up the phone.   "Hi...how're you doing.  We...."
I start talking “Hi. I'm good. How are you? I can't wait to see you tonight."
And then I hear the machine voice. “We can't come to phone right now.”
So don't I feel like an idiot having just had a heartfelt conversation with an answering machine!

I don't doubt that some day our answering machines will be programmed to carry on conversations.  We can be at a bar in Mexico drinking margaritas while some voice activated computer back at home conducts our business for us.  

I just hope that mine understands how frustrating voicemail can be.  Press one if you agree with my sentiments.



  •  

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Dec 28, 2008
    • I’m pressing one wildly!  Automatic answering machines—especially at doctor’s offices—make me crazy.  

      And I had totally forgotten about the emergency break-ins.  I never did that, but I had a friend who used to do it me, and you‘re right, it was always about something as important as hearing her favorite song on the radio, or wanting me to come over NOW while her mother was out shopping.

      Thanks again, Janie.



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Dec 28, 2008
    • Yes Annie I did the same thing.  I hate the voice activated response too.  I would rather hit numbers over the voice.  Unfortunately, nowadays, the #0 does not even work on some corporations - they really want out to pin point our calls - create more frustration in my opinion.



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Leeann wrote Dec 28, 2008
    • I am getting old, I know that lady on the phone in your blog. I use to see her sit in a big chair and act like a little girl. What is her name ? lily ? How funny!



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Dec 28, 2008
    • Janie, your post really struck home again with me.  And, yes, I’m pressing 1 right now!  I get so utterly frustrated to get stuck in one of those phone loops when I try to get information from a company and need to talk to a real person.  Like you, I often try to push 0 immediately but that doesn’t always work.  And then I’m peeved when—and if—I finally get to a real person, especially if their accent is hard to understand!  I’m sure it saves the companies money to have these systems instead of people fielding the calls and directing them to the right places, but it certainly is annoying. —LindaO



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Dec 28, 2008
    • Tina - I remember using the operator to break in for what I thought were earth shattering events, but then isn’t every earth shattering to a teenage girl?

      Annie- I agree about getting someone you can’t understand.  That’s another blog entirely!

      Chinadoll - In many cases the #0 doesn’t work and it’s so frustrating

      Leeann - Lily Tomlin was great.  She’s now on Desperate Housewives.

      Thanks everyone for your comments.  Happy New Year!  

      Janie



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Dec 28, 2008
    • Janie, you have done it again.  Am pressing 1 and adding this:  you have a wonderful way with words so I imagine not having someone to speak with is extremely frustrating on many levels.  Great blog...  And a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to you also.
      Jer



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane Klapper wrote Dec 29, 2008
    • Hi Janie,

      This is one of my biggest pet peeves.  The one company that I have the Hardest time with is the phone company.  The guy on the phone kept making me repeat my request.  “Did you say you wanted to pay your bill?” “Did you say you wanted customer service?” “I can’t understand you, can you repeat your request?
      That’s when I really get upset and start yelling at the phone
      and hang up.  What started out to be a good day sets me off on the wrong foot. I can’t wait for you next blog.



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Dec 30, 2008
    • #1

      #1

      #1

      I hear ya girlfriend. estatic



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Dec 31, 2008
    • Storyseeker -  Thanks for your comment.  It’s nice to have a male perspective on things.  Happy New Year!



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sylvia wrote Dec 31, 2008
    • Love this!!  Love your pictures.  How true, how true. I can’t
      stand pushing numbers and then getting no information. When
      I finally get a human voice it is from someone from India or
      or some country I have never heard of and I cannot understand
      what they are saying.  Double frustation and one million

      #1’s.
      Sylvia



            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Jan 3, 2009
    • I hate a lot of this so called new technology I need t ospeak to a real person from time to time in dealing with business especially.



            Report  Reply


About this author View Blog » 
author