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Dear Google Voice, I Need To Have A Word With You!

by Danell Boyles TeNyenhuis Black 5 months ago in mobile

Your transcriptions are hilarious and misleading!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Dear Google,

As a mental health counselor, my employer advised me to set up a Google Voice phone number. I don't mind giving out my personal cell phone number but it's against company policy so I set up a Google account.

I've used the service for a year now and Google Voice works very well for the most part. Not only can I make and receive calls with my Google number, but I can also send and receive text messages. There are no monthly phone charges for the service, which is great.

Like my regular (iPhone) messages, Google transcribes voicemail messages so that I can read them without listening. Transcription is an excellent benefit IF the transcription is correct. Usually, it is generally accurate, but when it’s not, it can create chaos.

First of all, Google, my name is Danell, pronounced \Duh-nell\. My name is not Janelle, although it’s easy to see how you might come up with that. I also understand Daniel or Danielle, since people sometimes mispronounce my name. Denial is even understandable, although bizarre, but is still not correct. I’m not sure how you got Isabel, I listened to the message, and she clearly said, Danell. The same thing with Dale, I listened to the message and clearly heard two syllables. Is your system working correctly?

I can deal with my name being transcribed incorrectly but some of the transcriptions create confusion.

Recently a client left me a voicemail message to tell me she was going to be missing her appointment due to being in line for a vaccination. You transcribed the name of the vaccine as 'covetous teen.' I wondered if that's an actual term and I googled it.

The top 3 responses were for Covid-19, which is what my client actually said in her message. The fourth was in the title for a 2002 movie review for Swimfan. The film is about a teen who covets another girl's boyfriend. So, the translation was for an actual term, just not the right one. You got the name correct in the google search, why didn't you transcribe it correctly?

And Google, I have to take exception to the message transcribed on August 28th at 4:30 PM. How did you take the word detained and transcribe it as dead? Also, the word session has two syllables; sex has one. I’m not sure how you got to sex from session. Let me tell you a little story. I’m a fairly new counselor, but I was on call today to help trainees with basic questions. I received the following voicemail message:

Hi Isabel, my name is XXXXX XXXXX; I’m one of the new trainees. I have a client who is in juvenile hall. He’s dead. So I can’t have sex with him. I just wanted to double-check if I have to close this case until…

Honestly, the rest of the message doesn’t matter. I couldn’t read past dead and sex. My first thought was, “You can’t have sex with your client if he’s alive either, NO sex!” Sex with clients is against our code of ethics and would be grounds for revocation of license.

I couldn’t imagine what she said in the voice message! I breathed a sigh of relief when I listened to it and realized that her client was detained in juvenile hall, so she couldn’t have a session with him. A session, not sex!

So Google, could you please work on your transcribing skills? I almost had a heart attack when I read that last message. My heart can’t take much more of this. On second thought, thanks for a laugh!


Danell Boyles TeNyenhuis Black

I began writing after my late husband's death in 2016. I created a blog, My Life After Patrick to write about my experience and how I was moving forward. In the five years since then I have finished my Masters in Counseling and remarried.

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