Monday, September 21, 2009

the auto-people

you know them. you know their voices.

"please hold while i transfer your call to an available representative."

"please enter your 10-digit account number"

"to speak with a customer service representative, say 'i'd like some help'"

"i'm sorry, i didn't understand that request, please try again."

well, admit it or not, but you have had an argument with one of these voices at least once in your life. but usually you're alone.

JJ decided to have a fight with the DirecTV voice the other night. and it went something like this:

voice: "please say your 10-digit account number"
JJ: "1234567898"
voice: "i'm sorry, i didn't understand that request. please try again."
JJ: "give me a real person you dirty *&%^"
voice: "i'm sorry, i didn't understand that request. please try again."
JJ: "give me a &*#$%*@ real person NOW!"
voice: "i'm sorry, i didn't understand that request. please try again."
JJ: (screaming) "you stupid woman voice give me A REAL HUMAN %$&@*#$ PERSON NOW!"
voice: "please hold while i transfer your call."

at this point i am starting at him. i have even paused Greek. i am starting at him and he is looking at me like "what? i can totally justify my scream fight with a voice." and i just shake my head and unpause Greek.

he is so worked up over the DirecTV voice that he is rude to the actual person as well. the problem was that he bought the MLB all access package or whatever, and the Dodger game wasn't playing on the channel it was supposed to be on. the person told him that the channel didn't exist and JJ was all "I SEE IT RIGHT HERE. THE CHANNEL DOES EXIST IT'S ON MY GUIDE." so the person put him on hold. i paused Greek again and i told him he was being very rude and condescending to the poor woman on the phone when it's not really her fault.

so when the woman comes back, JJ overcompensates for his rudeness and says, "you know, i owe you an apology. my wife said i was being rude and condescending to you, and i'm really sorry."

and he ends up chatting with her like old pals.

i personally think that if they gave us real people to talk to in the first place, we wouldn't have to deal with the voice, losing patience and eventually, as JJ so graciously demonstrated, losing control of our own selves, and ending up in an all out brawl with the real human.

what do you think?


  1. agreed. Nothing makes me more angry then those auto service people. especially when i dont have an account number but no other number option fits my needs. and then the HUMAN asks you all the same ish over again... can i get your account number?
    you know i dont feel so comfortable w/ that... who is this auto person who now knows my Name, DOB, SSN & Acct number... Shady. shady. shady.

  2. i hate them. i had cable troubles and the automated person tried to walk me through them. um NO, i'm pretty sure your shady cox installation guy gave me a whack box that doesn't work, please just send someone to replace it!!!!! small tip: most of the time if you press 0 it takes you to someone they're probably in india but still at least they're human.

  3. oh and PS no one hates the auto people more than my mother, she was a telephone operator for AT&T and then she got replaced... by the auto people!!

  4. I have pressed 0 on those things and been kicked out of the automated system and hung up on... those systems are like ever evolving bacteria...

  5. damn. i thought "the auto-people" was going to be a car discussion; though it turned out to be your best written blog as yet [and that's saying something].
    will the type of service LB's mom provided ever be prized enough again to add to corporations' margins? doubtful. more likely the autobot becomes more human-like with every nextgen. do we hope this software technology improves by leaps and bounds to save our sanity, or do we wish it a quick demise, or both? the day the autobot answers "yes" to option c, "both", they can be deemed sentient enough to stop their enslavement. welcome to the future my fellow souls.


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