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Press 4 to hear your account balance

by Frank Racioppi 2 years ago in humor
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What if people had their own automated phone systems like companies?

Image printed with permission from Think Like A Customer blog

*You already know it’s going to be a bad day. You can just feel that black cloud hovering over your head, eager to drown any positive thoughts that may break through your miasma of negativism.

Why so bleak today?

Quite simply, because you have to call your auto insurance company’s toll-free customer service number. You dial. It’s the automated system that answers and warns you ominously that they have have greater than normal call volume, even though you’ve called 20 seconds after the call center opened.

Then you begin the maze of phone options. The automated system keeps attempting to tell you when your next payment is due while you are frantically pressing buttons trying to get a human, even if it’s the person who puts out the bagels in the breakroom every morning.

Once, when calling my health insurance company whose automated voice told me that “your call was very important to us” I waited for 20 minutes after navigating so many options and pressed so many numbers on my phone that carpal tunnel was already setting in.

Then, when I was out of numbers to push to speak to a human, I started yelling and cursing into the phone. My wife, in another room reading her book club book about someone whose life is much shittier than ours, came out of the room and challenged me.

“Are you cursing at a person or an automated system?”

“The system won’t route to a person,” I answered, full of bile and red-faced.

Since she is somehow immune to anger, she responds calmly but quizzically, “So you are actually cursing at a computer?”

You think I’d be embarrassed to answer yes, but by now I’m deep into demonic catharsis, I can no longer control myself.

“It will not let me speak to a person, damn it,” I respond ludicrously as I wave my hands and contort my face to look like a loser on the CBS reality show Big Brother.

She rolls her eyes at me, shoots me a “tsk” and turns on her heels to return to her reading.

Only after she’s gone, do I realize how ridiculous I am, but I’m not ready to return to normalcy. I hang up the phone, pour myself a cup of coffee – the beans of which were probably picked by the poor people my wife is reading about in her book.

I take a sip. Needs more Stevia, I decide. Then while pouring more artificial sweetener into my coffee, a flash of inspiration feeds my desire for revenge.

Regular people should have their own toll-free automated systems just like big companies so that we can torture those companies should they ever want to contact us as well as assorted people in our lives who just piss us off, either for legitimate reasons or because we rank high on the neuroticism scale.

I grab a note pad from my desk and begin to furiously write my script for people who might call me. While writing, I am laughing like Joaquin Phoenix in The Joker and my wife calls out to me, “Are you okay? It sounds like you’re editing Trump’s tweets again for grammar and spelling.”

“Everything’s fine,” I answer her in my newly discovered journey into the fantasy of ultimate revenge.

I scribble on the notepad, my anger guiding my Pilot fine-point pen. I finish my coffee and the script is done. I read it over and decide I deserve a piece of pound cake, now that its noon and I’m in the eating window for my 18/6 intermittent fasting. As I slice pieces of pound cake, I read my script for my new “average person’s toll-free automated phone system and customer service line.”

Before I go online to apply to the U.S. Patent Office, I read it through one more time.

If scammers Call:

“Hello, your call is not important to us. In fact, we will be blocking you after this call. If you are calling to use a social security scam, press 1 now. If you are calling to use a IRS tax refund scam, press 2. For any scams from Nigeria, press 3. For free vacation scams, press 4. To speak to me, press – oh wait, you’ll never speak to me. Goodbye suckers.”

If bill collectors Call:

“If you are calling about a bullshit bill you claim I owe even though I’ve tried to cancel my gym membership seven different times and the magazine subscription you claim I have was canceled during the Obama Administration, please press 1. But before you actually press 1, please that note that I have moved to the deepest jungle in Bolivia and will be living there off the grid until the statute of limitations is up on my bogus bill. Have a good day.”

If doctors, hospitals, dentists or any health provider Calls:

“If this is an insurance company, denying my claim for the recent MRI, please go screw yourself, you heartless bastards. If this my dentist, confirming my appointment next week for the 22nd time, please press 3 then wait 17.2 minutes to leave me a message. If this is a hospital about that bogus ER visit bill, please press 5 to listen to the bill collectors message about me moving to the jungles of Bolivia. Feel free to repossess my Ford Focus. The transmission hasn’t worked since I drove off the dealer’s lot.”

If family members I can’t stand to talk to Call:

“Hello and I’m sorry I can’t take your call but right now I am either volunteering at a food bank, risking my life to collect change at a busy intersection for the local girls softball team or dropping off all my pleated pants, cargo shorts and I’m with Stupid t-shirts at the nearest Goodwill consignment store. You can leave me a message by pressing 3245612357 PIN: 45212678 and using fingerprint and facial recognition to confirm your identity and ensure that your are not a robot. Because of the sheer volume of calls, I may not get back to you until Keeping up with the Kardashians finally goes off the air.”

If Friends who want to gossip incessantly about other friends Call:

Hi, friend. To report another mutual friend’s sexual perversions, press 1. To report a mutual friend for serving milk that is not organic at a recent brunch, press 2. To report a mutual friend for claiming their dog is dying as an excuse to get out of that AirBnB we all rented in Myrtle Beach, press 17. For random sightings of casual acquaintances acting like douches, please press 6 and speak slowly.

If any big company with its own automated phone system Calls:

“Your call is important to us and to illustrate how important, I am going to make you wait at least 40 minutes before you can even speak to me. In the meantime, while you wait, I will assault you with a blistering number of phone options to press that will take you nowhere and I may even hang up on you a few times so that you go to the back of the queue. Have a nice day.”

If you want to discuss this brilliant idea in more detail, please call 1-800-call-frank and press 4. If you hate his idea, please call the IRS and confess that you have under-reported taxable income for the last five years.

If I have offended anyone during this article, please go to your smartphone then go to SETTINGS then CELLULAR and hit disconnect from the CELLULAR NETWORK.

Then attempt to call me. Have a nice day. Your non-call is important to me.


About the author

Frank Racioppi

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