Friday, February 3, 2012


I got into a yelling argument during a phone call the other day and I am still licking my wounds. What starting off as a conversation with a pleasant sounding female on the other end of the line, ended with me spewing and venting words that would have made Andrew Dice Clay blush. I have not been so upset or so overcome with rage in quite some time. I thought it would be appropriate to gain some measure of closure by writing about my experience here. For with confession, comes release, and ultimately peace. Let me tell my tale.

Over the past few weeks I received two separate payment coupon booklets from my mortgage company. One was meant to supplant the other, but I got them mixed up and thought I would call and speak to an account representative to clarify which booklet was the correct one. However, shortly after I dialed the toll-free phone number, I was greeted by what the folks in the business of distancing big companies from their customer base refer to as an ARS, which stands for "Automated Response System". Here a computer generated voice that is meant to simulate an actual human being, frustrates the heck out of anyone who tries to get their questions answered. They do this by rambling on and on about crap you couldn't give a flying frack about and instead of allowing you to push a button to enter a menu, want you to have some sort of deep and meaningful "personal" conversation with it. The whole notion the ARS is just so dehumanizing and frustrating.

Well after five minutes of trying to find a way to get through to an actual human, with my perky computer operator voicing time and again, "I did not understand your response, please try again.", I lost it and started screaming into the phone. There was a pause, and the computer said, "You must remain calm if you want service." ... It said what? I began chewing on the phone cord and threatening the computer's hard drive. For the record, it then said that I should, "Try my response again". I was clearly bested. I hung up the phone and crawled under my desk for the rest of the afternoon.