Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Beep Beep

Two Ellen Feis moments around here in the last week:

Patti is trying to get her prescription filled though an automated phone system. The Rx and benefit number must have 15 digits each in them. Naturally, a wrong number was pressed. She had to wait 10 minutes just to get on the system. After 2 or 3 incorrect entries she was booted off the line. Twice. The second time she went into Joe Pesci mode, cursing and pounding the phone on the counter top. Cool. The tirade must have been just what she needed because she waltzed through the process on the third attempt.

I got a call Monday night from Patti's doctor. It's one of those automated messages with an appointment reminder. I listened to the message. Patti knew about the appointment. I went on with the business of retrieving voice mail.

So today, Patti calls and announces, "You cancelled my appointment!" She's calling from across town at Doc's office.

"I did?", "I guess I did." "Shit." "Sorry." That's all I had in the way of a defense. Seems I cancelled by giving the message the old "337". This sequence skips ahead and deletes the voice mail message. But, no, it was a first generation recording, not a recording of a recording, as I thought it was. I guess it said press 3 to cancel, and I did.

Even so, I like key presses better than voice recognition. Once I answered, "Did this help you with your problem.?" with "Hell, No" instead of just plain "No."

The automated answer was, "I'm sorry, I didn't get that. Could you please repeat your response?"

We always try to buy durable telephones in this household.

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