we've all been there. i happen to think that i have been there way more than anyone else, and i think my husband would agree. he's always telling me that i have a "redneck" accent. (he grew up in mississippi, too, so he doesn't really sound like a yankee himself.) but i've gotten enough stares and enough "where are you from?" questions when we travel to realize that i might sound just a tad bit southern. and what is the most frustrating thing for a southern person???? well, i'll tell you. it's those durn automated machines when you call customer service that make you speak your info instead of punching "1 for accounting, 2 for the stock room, etc." not only do you not get to talk to a person or punch a button....now we have to talk to a machine that has no hope of recognizing what we say.
case in point....
my credit card disappeared in december. remember that? yes. that was a fantastic time of life. anyway, i had to call a company to put the new credit card on file because they do the automatic renewal thing every year. i was greeted warmly by the robotic voice of a machine...
machine: "please speak your account number after the beep."
machine: "i'm sorry. i did not understand that. please speak your account number after the beep."
me: "there is no point. you won't understand anyway."
machine: "well. it looks like there is some difficulty understanding you."
me: "ya think?"
machine: "please try again. speak your account number after the beep."
me: "oh for the love"
machine: "that is not a valid account number. please speak your account number after the beep."
me: "human. i need a human."
machine: "let's try one more time. please speak your account number after the beep."
me: "i like chocolate."
machine: "please hold on while i connect you to the nearest customer service representative. please be aware that this call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes."
me: "yes. please monitor it. and please let everybody hear it so they can see how asinine this whole rigamarole is!!!!!!"
after a few minutes of elevator music, i am greeted warmly by a real, live human. hallelujah. that barely speaks english. why do these people hate me?? we barely made it to the point of me telling her what i wanted before we were both about to come through the phone and strangle each other. neither of us speaks the native language of the other. here's a sample....
me: "i don't know what that is."
rep: "eees a noombah."
me: "a what?"
rep: "oh deeah."
me: "can you just spell it?"
rep: "N I N E"
me: "oh. nine. ok, i got it."
rep: "gawt eeet?"
rep: "i duh naught oondastaund."
me: "hang on. let me go beat my head against the wall."
seriously. this went on forever. and all i wanted to do was put a new credit card on file. usually i get so frustrated when the machine can't understand me. but i just thought today was hilarious because finally she knew how i felt!!!
rep: "daht's eet. ees der anyding else i can hulp you weeth?"
me: "oh gosh. i hope not."
rep: "i'm soohry?"
me: "i'm kidding."
rep: "cood you reepeet daht?"
me: "no. let's just end this."
rep: "i'm soohry?"
me: "HAVE. A. GOOD. DAY."
i feel strangely satisfied after that conversation....if you can even call it that. it's about time those customer service people got a taste of their own medicine! but hopefully i won't have to call again for another whole year!