Off the Hook!

Hey, you know how when you call a company and they put you through the paces – press 1 for happy, 2 for ass, 3 for I don’t know, 7 to hear a duck quack

(true! I forget the number but years ago on a company’s phone tree you could press 7 to hear a duck quack AND IT REALLY WORKED!)

– and then eventually you get a real, live person and that person helps you?

Today, for the first time, I encountered the “say your choice out loud” school of tele-service. I called telus to find out why my voicemail says “this number doesn’t exist” even though the number works just fine. The phone rang at their end and this automated woman answered and said, in a tone that suggested I was a big bee in her too-tight bonnet,

“OK. Let’s narrow things down a little.”

She told me my options but offered no numbers to press so I sat there for a while, feeling dumb, until she said, with the sweet smell of a burning martyr,

“I didn’t hear your selection.”

We did that for a while until I finally got it. I said, “repairs!” to the telephone (and most of the office, to my cubicle neighbour’s delight) and she replied,

“OK. So you need a repair to your phone. Is is your phone service or another service, like voicemail?” and when I said, “voicemail!” she said, “OK. Is it that you’re an idiot or that we screwed up?” and on we went.

By the time I got to the Real Live Repair Dude and his trusty folder of trouble tickets, I wouldn’t have noticed if he was 2 bullets short of a killing spree; he sounded as smooth and pleasant as a slice of St. Andre triple cream brie. Who knew an automated voice could be so confrontational? She was totally goading me into beating her senseless with my bare fists and I won’t be held responsible for what happens to her.

So yeah, our voicemail is broken. It could be fixed in 2 or 72 hours. The Real Live Repair Dude said, “would you like us to call you at home and give you a status update? If you’re not there, we could leave you a message.”
I said, “…”
He agreed (albeit silently) that it was a stupid thing to say and we called it a done deal.

The combination of watching “Pimp My Ride” on Friday night, then cleaning for two days non-stop and staying up way too late considering and then moving into a new place with so many hooks it’s a wonder there are no fishermen beating down the door has got me saying, about everything that’s good, “It’s off the hook!” You have been warned.

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