Each of these things happened today, reminding me why I prefer email to the telephone.
- A female robot answered the phone and asked me to dial the extension of the person I was trying to reach. “If you do not know the extension, dial zero-zero.” I dialed zero-zero. She said, “Please dial the extension you are trying to reach.” I hit zero again. “Please dial the extension you are trying to reach.” I hung up.
- I tried again later and reached the person. He asked me to call back on his cell because of static on his land line. When I called him back on his cell, he was echo-y and hard to hear.
- A receptionist at a doctor’s office returned my call. I answered. She said, “Hi, Carrie.” And then my phone went boop boop and the call was disconnected. Mia and I were on our lunchtime walk at the time, so I put my phone back in my pocket and called back a half hour later when I returned to the office. The receptionist said, “I tried calling you earlier, but our phones must have disconnected.” Uh huh. And you just decided not to try calling me again? Great customer service. (My phone identified the incoming number as the doctor’s fax machine, so I couldn’t exactly call her right back, could I?)
Just when I was ready to slip into total misanthropy, I had an in-person experience that surpassed the electronic one. I needed to print out 100 copies of a double-sided color 11×17 document. I thought it would be a pain in the ass to put the file on a flash drive and take it physically into the Office Depot that is two blocks away. Instead, I uploaded it to their website, but the site wasn’t able to process my company’s store credit card.
Whatever! Irritated, I yanked open my desk drawer and pulled out a flash drive. It took me longer to delete the files that were on the flash drive than it did to save the new file and drive the two blocks to Office Depot. I worried that Mia would be too hot in the car as I waited for the strange copy ladies to finish with other people’s online orders.
Strange as they were, they had my documents printed in less than 10 minutes.
Bonus: What I thought would cost $250 wound up costing $76 because of some business discount I might not have gotten if I’d ordered the copies online. So there you have it. Score one for the old-fashioned way.