Conversations with an electronic system


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Today i had the misfortune to need to telephone the tax office, a task i admit i had been putting off due to the total rigmarole involved in past experiences. This type of call is no simple matter and after several attempts i was no closer to getting my call answered than if i had not bothered to dial at all. These phone lines are most cleverly sneaky i should add and far from dialling and ringing you are subjected to the press one for this, press 2 for that palaver, all the while racking up the costs on your telephone bill. To make matters worse each section has vast amounts of do’s dont’s, general rules and reams of information that only serve to draw the call out longer, most of which would be more appropriate on a separate helpline since most is totally irrelevant to you. 

6 minutes into the call i am trying to stifle a yawn when finally the section i want comes up and i press the number for my chosen option. The now annoying voice informs me my call will now be transferred and i roll my eyes and think ‘FINALLY’ .Ten seconds later the voice is back  informing me that my call cannot be taken since they are too busy! okay so at this point i am quite cross, why could they not have said this in the first place instead of charging me to listen to a load of rubbish i wasn’t interested in. But then they are incredibly savvy since they are fully aware we have no choice but to call and jump gleefully on the opportunity to make money from this by clever systems and high charge call rates. 

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5 attempts later and the result was much the same so i decided to be smart and press the option for a totally different section and then plead dumb once the call was answered. Oddly enough this call had far more success and i was placed in a queue with tasteless tinny music being filtered down the line. Huge sigh and i decided to float around the internet whilst waiting and jammed the phone between my shoulder and my ear thus leaving my hands free to type. Sometime later with definite crick developing in my neck and my right ear giving off heat worthy of a swedish sauna, i was getting rather bored with the distorted echoey music yet stubbornly resisting the urge to hang up and try again later.

”Hello Tax helpline can i help you”

YES!! finally a real human voice and thankfully a male one this time for i was rather tired of hearing the silly woman on the looped recordings and would have quite happily have listened to Mickey Mouse rather than that. Putting on my best voice i announced that i wasn’t sure if i was in the right place for i had gotten a little confused (cue silly little giggle to emphasise point) Now i am far from being this dumb but he wasn’t to know that. Since this achieved my object i wasn’t going to feel one bit guilty about it and i set about launching into my details. 10 minutes later and business concluded i heaved a sigh of relief that the dreaded deed was done and i could stay away from the diabolical helpline debacle until the following year. 

Whatever happened to the days of speaking to human beings?? In our electronically enlightened society are we really so advanced when this is the best lines of communication that we can manage? Personally i will take hearing a real voice minus all the press this and that anytime and i thank goodness my official call quota is minimal. 

Oh and to my little imp of a best friend, if you say press one for this and press two for that the next time i call you i shall throttle you 😛   yes i know you!! Love you 🙂

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