please press 15 for…

Whatever happened to having someone with a wonderful smile in their voice answering a telephone? They would then tell you if the person you wanted was available or not and would actually take a message for that person if they were unavailable. Oh and sometimes they might even be able to help you or find someone else that could!

A receptionist used to be the voice of the company. But no more. No, technology has taken over and just about every business, large and small, now has voice mail. Do you know how very much I hate voice mail?

First you have to figure out what language you want to hear the recording in. Yes, I will admit that I resent this, quite a bit in fact. Then you have to listen to these messages and try and figure out the best option for you. Generally what you want – or at least what I want – is not listed on the message. What to do then?

The ones I love, though, are doctor’s offices. Have you ever listened to them? There is one that I call on a somewhat regular basis. The message is quite long and goes into some detail that if you want to schedule with this doctor press 7, that doctor press 4, for x-ray press 9, for this press 8, for that press 2, and on and on and on. Five minutes later they also tell you that if this is an emergency please hang up and call 911. Gosh don’t you think they could have said that at the beginning?

I called one place that gave all the people’s names and extension but no option if you didn’t know who you needed to talk. I just picked a number and left a message. A very rude man called back and told me that I had the wrong person. Well excuuuuuse me!

And I do truly believe that people use voice mail as an excuse to not have to talk to anyone. How can it be that everyone is always on the phone or away from their desk every time you call? And I truly want to know what happens to all the messages I leave for people. Where do they end up? They must not reach the targeted destination as so few people really do call back.

Don’t get me wrong I love the new technology but I also miss the personal service we used to get. I miss talking to a live person who can actually help you.

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