Thursday, January 13, 2011

How Impatient Am I?

I've spent the morning paying a few bills over the phone. So think of that - no going out, no post office. Just pick up the phone and pay the bill.

And yet that annoys me.



First of all account numbers are too damn long. My gas company assigns 12 character account numbers BUT when you're asked to enter your account number they specifically ask for the first 11 characters. I keep forgetting that there's 12 so I have to count in to 11 and by then the robot voice is telling me I'm going to be terminated.

Then there's all the repetition. It's bad enough that the robot voice speaks so slowly I begin to go into a coma of boredom and frustration but then she needs to repeat everything to confirm.

There should be a menu option - "If you're not a fucking idiot, please press 9"

and another ...

"If you are capable of pressing numbers on a touch tone phone please tell us now"

or maybe ...

"If, after having a checking account for all your sorry life, you KNOW where your routing and account numbers are please press 6 and we won't spend 4 minutes explaining your own check to you"

And don't even get me started on the voice activated menus!! I tend to curse between ridiculous instructions and wind up getting "I'm sorry I don't recognize that request" which of course puts me back at the start line and then I really start cursing.

It's a vicious cycle.

What? Why don't I just write a check and go to the post office you ask?

Well - funny thing. While recovering from the flu/plague/brain tumor that has haunted me since Christmas I began to get a really bad case of cabin fever.

So ...

I decided to get out for a bit. My driveway is on an incline - most likely because it's built on a toxic dump or a burial ground for evil witches - and I thought I saw black top but it was really black ice and so I slid halfway down the driveway before finally landing on my side.



Thankfully the base of the telephone pole broke my fall. Otherwise I might have landed in a soft snow pile and what fun would that be.

I am black and blue and purple all over. I look a bit like a cross of Barney and Ronald McDonald with a touch of Elephant Man thrown in.

I'm not an animal ...

36 comments:

Akelamalu said...

Oh don't get me started!

I had to ring the tax office today and it took me 10 minutes to manoevre my way through press 1 for blahdiblah, press 2 for bladiblah etc, etc before I got in a queue to speak to someone. Then I had to wait for 30 minutes for someone to answer with a recorded message every 2 mins saying 'our operaters are all busy at the moment, thankyou for holding'! Thankfully the person who eventually answered was able to help me or I think I may have exploded!!!

Mike said...

Holler as loud as you can "CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE" and the machine will connect you to a real person that will take your money pronto!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

So glad nothing is broken! I wont get started on telephone anything these days! I pay everything either on line or auto draft.
I dont want to talk to those idiots either!
<><

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

OY! What a New Year YOU are having so far! I feel your pain (at least as far as Telephone Systems go. It can be very frustrating. And don't forget the fact that often you are left with nothing but a dial tone after going through a gazillion prompts and you have to start all over again. Grrrr!

Hope the year gets better soon, Dianne! And you, too. :)

Knight said...

I either wait until they want my money bad enough that they call me directly or I yell representative over and over until they give me a human to yell at.

Hilary said...

Oh poor you. I'm sorry you're hurting.. more and again.

Why not pay your bills online? A few clicks and your bank account is empty just like mine. Seriously, it saves a load of time and Telephone Hell frustration.

Kay Dennison said...

Argh!!! Get well!!!!!!

I have a separate email account for my bills and the people I do business with have very user friendly sites. I can pay my utility bills in less ten minutes. I call my insurance agent and say "I want to pay my bill." and she says, "Done! Do you have any changes?" I say no and she says, "Okay! You're good to go!"

I guess I am blessed.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh Di, I'm so sorry you fell --- I HATE when that happens. (The agony of knowing how awkward I am hurts as much as the bruises.) I'm glad your sense of humor wasn't damaged anyway ;>) Take care, get better.

The phone these days does stink. We tried to pay household bills by phone when we started RVing and still owned the house -- we didn't have a good cell phone, so we'd stand for a pay phone booth and then go through all that like you talked about -- agony. I was so glad when we sold the house and got our recurring bills put on auto or internet.

ellen abbott said...

snow is sooo over-rated.

Mike said...

And about your fall. I'm so so.... wait, did somebody get video?

Ron said...

LOVE the photo of Stanwyck in Sorry Wrong Number!! I own that film and enjoy watching it over and over. The last scene is awesome!!

OMG, the voice activated menu makes me INSANE! It's funny how whenever you call, the thing that you want is NEVER on the menu. I do what Mike said, I scream...AGENT! AGENT! AGENT! And that seems to connect me to a real person.

"My driveway is on an incline - most likely because it's built on a toxic dump or a burial ground for evil witches."

HAHAHAHAHAAHA! You are sooooo funny!

So sorry to hear about your fall, Dianne. I do hope you're okay. I went out walking around the city today and almost slipped several times on the icy sidewalks - oy vey!

"I'm not an animal ... "

X to you and the gang!

Vol-E said...

Oh, NO, Dianne! I wince every time I hear a "falling on ice" story, and I've heard way too many this week. My husband took his second spill this morning and had to be taken home. He's very bony and is in a lot of pain.

Voice-recognition phone programs are the bane of my existence. I've learned how to talk like a machine when reciting numbers but apparently don't know how to pronounce the word "yes" so they'll understand it. It's only when I throw all my dignity out the window (especially at the office, while trying to do this crap during a lunch break) -- hollering "Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaassssssss!" into the phone until my voice cracks -- this followed by a ticking silence on the other end, and finally that stupid computer voice coming back saying "Okay," and passing me to the next menu item. It has to improve one of these days, dontcha think??! Arrgh...

Charlene said...

I could write a book about the torture of phone annoy systems. Maybe I should.

There should be a rule that requires ALL phone systems to proceed in the same way so that you don't have to call more than once to figure out how to get what you want. And all systems should have an "out" button that lets you sit there quietly wakting for the human.

Linda Reeder said...

Is it OK that I'm laughing at your pain? Because that's what you make me do.

I pay my bills mostly by auto draft from my bank or credit card. for the rest I write checks. I don't want anything that has to do with the telephone!

I hope you're healing.

Grayquill said...

Are you really giving me amunition to laugh at you? (As if I needed any). I do recall in the not so distant past you gained some pleasure over my pain. Is this pay back? Karma? or just black ice? Well I am sorry you bum is sore but your fingers seem to be working just fine.
And yes I feel you pain - not.:-)
Hang in there - it will feel better when it quits hurting.

Grayquill said...

I am such a comfort - who would of thought I had it in me.

Jeni said...

Holy Rip, Dianne! I never thought of you as having a death wish. Stay inside, stay warm and stay safe -away from ice, stairs and small children's toys that can trip you oh so easily too!
Phones and business numbers though -hate 'em! But I think I hate the bill collectors who call and when I answer they either are not directly on the line -probably an auto-dial thing or something and I'm standing there, waiting for the caller to speak. Anymore, if I answer and get that, I don't even wait to find out who it is, just bang the phone back on the receiver. If they happen to call on the other line -which has caller id, and I see it is an 800 type number, I just let it ring the 5 times and it goes to voice mail, which I then tend to ignore. I know what bills I have and I know too if I have enough funds to pay 'em and if I don't, well they don't get paid till I do and I'm tired of trying to explain that theory to the bill collectors too!
Now, don't go breaking any bones or mucking yourself up again! Got that?

Grayquill said...

forthesolepurposeofaddingaquantumlevelofaggravationtoyourpainIthoughtIwouldgiveyouasimplebrainteaseryourstrulyroadquilldontyoufeelbetternowicertainlyhopesoyoumighttryrubbingyourbumwithsomebengayitcouldhelp

jabblog said...

Ouch! Ouch! Poor you! I hope the bruises stop hurting soon - at least you didn't break anything.
As for telephones - Bah! Humbug! I hate the damned things - or at least the 'answering routines'. I do as much online as I can, which means I write one cheque a month on average :-)

Arkansas Patti said...

Yikes, I feel your pain. I do hope no one witnessed your graceful display. I can take pain better than embarassment.
I knew there was a reason I hung on the check in the mail routine. Thanks for reinforcing my decision.

Trisha said...

Glad that you are safe - even if you are bruises and banged up! That fall could have been much worse!

The voice activated menus are frustrating to me too. However, if you mumble a lot or swear a lot so that you get a lot of the "I'm Sorry I didn't get that" messages, they will eventually put you in touch with a live person!

Jay said...

I had to laugh at Mike's second comment cause I admit to thinking the same thing. YouTube!

Hope you're not too sore babe. Take it easy.

Mama Zen said...

This is hilarious!

Linda said...

What gets me is that every single time you call one of those darned things, you always get that first message that tells you to "Listen carefully as our voice menu options have changed." How freakin' often do they find it necessary to change the menu options?? Egad!!

Sorry to hear about your trip down the hill and into the telephone pole. Seems like if it's not one thing then it's definitely another, huh?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm pretty sure I have some bills to pay myself!

Reb said...

Oh Dianne, I am sorry you fell and slid into a telephone pole :( Feel better soon okay?
As for the phone system, we can enter digits by using the keypad or voice. I think they realized soon after starting the voice system, that it didn't work very well. Still have to say 'yes' or 'no' sometimes, but it is an improvement. Of course, all my bills are paid on-line through the bank. The only cheque I write is for my rent and it is only 1/2 a block away ;)

Frank Baron said...

I would be chuckling - but that would be wrong.

Cute bloomers. ;)

(I pay all my bills online now. It's dead easy. But still not much fun.)

Michelle said...

Oh no...I am so glad that you didn't have a more deadly fall. I have a pair of boots with cleats on them just for going outside because I would be brain damaged by now..the only problem is that they aren't good for indoor stuff..you might take a look...Yaktrax.... hugs..Michelle

Scott Oglesby said...

“Thankfully the base of the telephone pole broke my fall. Otherwise I might have landed in a soft snow pile and what fun would that be.” This is why I love you, hilarious! And sorry too…

I hate when I have to speak into the phone with commands. They never, ever understand me and I always end up saying commands that aren’t on the menu.

Clipped Wings said...

Ouch! Hope you're better now. Love your cat photos.

Granny Annie said...

The telephone bill paying gets you then the telephone pole gets you. Talk about adding insult to injury:)

Try bill paying online. It holds your previous information and all you have to do is sign on and click bill pay, continue, continue, continue and you're done.

Tracy said...

Oh my gosh, too funny, but so true! You know, really, can't we just talk to a person? why is that so difficult in today's age? No wonder they say our kids have no communication skills! how could they? when we just have to push buttons...UGH!

Raven said...

So sorry you fell. I feel the same way about those damned automated things. I've got to put my glasses on to see the numbers on the phone and then I sometimes miss when punching them in and then I have to start all over again. Most of my bills I can pay online now, which is my favorite thing to do. I'm still waiting to win Publisher's Clearinghouse so bills aren't so traumatic.

Besides the bruises, I hope your new year is going well.

EG Wow said...

Bwahaha! OOPS! Sorry I laughed, Dianne! :) Hope your bruises heal quickly.

boycottamericanwomen said...

BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN
Why American men should boycott American women

http://boycottamericanwomen.blogspot.com/

I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don't know how to cook or clean, don't want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I SOOOOOO Hate those Robot Voice thingy's--Especially when they say..."I'm sorry, I didn't hear that number--Repeat Please..." SCREW THAT!!!! Having to go through this excersize every friggin' time is just more than annoying---It makes me want to beat on someone...! So much for "progress:...!

CrystalChick said...

Sooo sorry you fell. :( But your wonderful sense of humor is still in tact so that's good!

I hear ya on this post.... OMG, Verizon had me half crazy yesterday and today. Things are still a little glitchy but I'll deal with it for now because I cannot call them back again and go thru that automated system that takes forever and then be disconnected and then call back and finally get thru to someone who has to transfer me and then go thru waiting on that line, etc. Nightmare!