The phone is broke. It has been broken for a whole day now. My neighbor’s phone is not broke. So it must be my system. I have a TeleZapper, which eliminates computer dialed phone calls and tells the computers that my phone number is disconnected. I disconnected that and I still have a broken phone.

Your call is important to us

But I have a cell phone. I can use my cell phone. To call the phone company. And my call is important to them. But my call may be recorded for quality assurance. I was told, gleefully, that the telephone system has recently upgraded their help line and made it completely automated. I got to talk to a computer generated smarmy voice.

Please say your phone number, said the smarmy computer voice. I did not understand that, said the smarmy voice. Did I understand your phone number, said the smarmy voice – repeating my phone number. Please say yes. I said yes. I did not understand that, said the smarmy voice. Yes, I said. I did not understand that said the smarmy voice. YES!!! I screeched. Ok, said the smarmy voice.

Please spell your first name, in case we have to contact you, like S-a-m [just in case people operating phones do not know what the term “spell” means]. So I spelled my name. Understood on the first try! Please enter using the keypad or say another phone number where you can be reached. I speak my cell phone number. Is this a good number to reach you at, in case a technician has to enter your home to fix the problem, says the smarmy voice. Yes, I scream. I did not understand you, says the smarmy voice.

What I really wanted to say to the stupid computer generated system is that of course I would give them an invalid phone number to try to call just because I enjoy playing practical jokes on humorous computers. Knowing that computers do not understand sarcasm, thereby creating a sarchasm, I yelled YES again.

My phone will be repaired by 6-P-M on August-8-2-thousand-6. If I need that repeated say “repeat” says the smarmy voice. If I need more information, say “more information” says the smarmy voice. If you are totally delighted with this system, says the smarmy voice, say goodbye. Where was the term I really wanted to use in closing? It’s in the dictionary under the letter “f.”

I don’t know if my call was recorded, but if it was, I will probably be yelled at for swearing while smarmy voice rattled on and on about stupid shit. I used a wide range of profanity while being irritated by the smarmy voice, using my minutes from my cell phone, waiting for smarmy voice to computer generate data.

I hope they ask me how much I liked their service. We complain about outsourcing jobs and then when a person would be nice to talk to, we have a computer generated voice, or someone from Delhi answering the phones. No wonder there are so many unemployed people in the US. The computers have the jobs.

First published on August 8, 2006 on my other blog.