Thursday, August 14, 2003

Those artificial voice systems are becoming progressively more annoying

In the process of having our new utilities switched and/or set up, I unwittingly found myself tangled within Telus's new automated voice mail system. In this lovely experience, a calming electronic female voice (there is a reason why this needs to be calming, but I don't know it yet) informs me that "If I can't help you myself, I will find someone who can". Myself? Since when did an electric voice exist as a self aware entity? And are these others she refers to also self expressing electronic voices? I find the implications of the language being used disconcerting, and wonder briefly if I am the only person it annoys (my standards are sometimes high), but I don't really have any clue yet the extent of what awaits me...

I soon realize that this "system" must be the phone gods definition of a joke. I breifly consider the karma I must have incurred in a past life to have to endure this, but I perservere anyway. The voice asks me questions, and I am soposed to respond with preselected answers. Sounds easy enough, but "she" usually doesn't understand my response (even when I am clearly stating the required response in an elevated tone), which launches "her" into repeating the entire menu (after apologizing ofcourse) again before asking for my response. So I finally get to the point where I can tell "her" that I want my phone disconnected. She doesn't like this option, asking in a (yes small and pathetic) guilt inducing questioning manner "You want your service reconnected, right?" Shit. Damn voice making me feel sorry for it, like I am rejecting "her" personally (Personally? What am am saying???). After I say "NO!" for the umpteenth time, I am informed that "she" now knows who to direct me to (AMEN - this process has now taken 25 minutes of my life that I will never get back again) and I am put on hold. Eventually a recorded message tells me that the expected wait to talk to a service representitive (dare I hope, a real person?) is 20 minutes. Twenty minutes? I don't think so, not even the chance of a real person is worth another 20 minutes of my time. No really, I'll try the internet thanks.

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