Caller Number Fourteen
Remember the good old days - the time when you could pick up the telephone, call someone, and a human being answered? Or, at the absolute very worst, you got a busy signal and had to try again in a few minutes. Those were simpler times, my friends, much, much, simpler times.
These days you might get a person to answer a personal phone call, assuming that after identifying you on the caller i.d., that person wanted to speak with you. But as for the possibility of immediately connecting with a human being on a business or government phone, well that just ain't a-gonna happen.
Today I phoned my doctor's office and was almost shocked when a human answered. However, before I could recover my voice and equilibrium, the telephone receptionist burped out a rapid monotone greeting which ended with "Please Hold." At that point the recordings took over.
"Your call is important to us." (Obviously it isn't or I wouldn't have been shuffled off to answering-machine hell.)
"We do appreciate your call and will be with you just as soon as possible." (Or, barring that, shortly after hell freezes over.)
"Our receptionist will be right with you." (I know it is just a machine doing the talking, but I could swear that I sensed a smirk with that one."
"We will be with you as soon as possible." (Another lie.)
"Thank you for your patience while waiting." (Not a problem. I'm spending the extra time on the internet shopping for another doctor.)
"All of our representatives are currently assisting other customers." (Or having lunch.)
"We value your comments about how we can make your experience with our office better." (Somehow, I seriously doubt that they want to hear anyone's comments on their customer service experiences.)
Seven or eight minutes later, time I will never get back, the receptionist returned to the line. I asked my question and was immediately put back on hold, listening to the same set of messages, while she went in search of an answer. The final answer was "I don't know."
I am so glad that I am on Medicare and have a full supplemental insurance plan. I would hate like hell to be paying for this crap out of pocket!