The last bunch of days I’ve had a missed call from one of those 1-888 type of numbers every day.  This morning I woke up to my phone buzzing and it was that number that was showing up on my incoming call so I answered it.  The girl on the other end of the line began talking, she was associated with my bank and was offering some kind of identity protection program which could be mine for the first month free and $8.99 per month from then on. Clearly I sounded sleepy still so she asked if it was a good time to call or if she should call back later.  I didn’t feel like getting more calls and missing more calls so I told her she may go ahead and tell me what it was about so she launched into her entire spiel.  I could tell that she was reading off of a paper or a computer or something because she didn’t even sound human the way she droned out this message that she was probably going to be droning out all day long.  Finally I interuppted her because that is the only way it seems you can get a word in edge-wise with these people and I told her I didn’t want to buy her product and I was actually okay. I wasn’t rude, I just let her know that I would not be buying into it.  She changed her angle and kept talking, so I interuppted again and said, “No I’m okay, thanks for calling, I appreciate you letting me know about it but I’m okay”. She said okay and kept talking about the virtues of this offer.  This time I interuppted and I said, “Look, I said no and I’m being nice about it so please be respectful in return and lets say goodbye to eachother”. Only after I said that did she say thanks ma’am and hang up.

After this brief morning encounter I was just lying in my bed thinking about the call.  She probably has to keep trying to sell to me  until I hang up and she is probably following some script that was made up by someone else sitting in an office who thought up this sales pitch. I thought about this unknown girl and I thought, she must cry, laugh, love, and have hobbies. She has a character and yet she has to turn herself off  when she gets to work and begin to recite and repeat and recite and repeat a bunch of pushy lines that some big bank thinks is the best thing to say and the best way to sell something. I don’t think she could veer from the script if she wanted to unless I, the customer, steered it in that direction since the calls are ‘recorded for training and security purposes’. Good to know we are all being held accountable and being babysat by the corporations on our phone calls. I would rather talk to someone who can display a little character and who was given the freedom to act human while making the call any day of the week. Any day. I can’t stress that enough.  The detachment really, really bothers me.

It drives me crazy that that is what big banks and corporations do for service.  I get just as annoyed when I have to call my phone company about something on my phone bill and I am talking to some lady in Nova Scotia and if the call is dropped or if I want to call back , next time I am talking to someone in Quebec. What bothers me the most is that whoever is getting these little guys like you and me to recite this or that to the customer is so untouchable. I wish I could march into the office of whoever has ordained this system and tell them exactly what I think of it. I work on orders over the phone too and let me tell you, when you know you’re actually going to have to meet the guy on the other end of that line, shake his hand, and look him in the eye it makes you think about how your talking and treating each other.  It makes you act less robot and more human.

If I could meet that girl I talked to this morning I don’t think she would be who she has to act like on the phone.  I’ve always thought that interactions and meeting people is one of the richest things in life. When I spend time with a person, whether it is 30 seconds or 10 minutes, whether I’m helping them out or being helped out by them it’s the people who look at me and not through me, who talk pleasantly or venture a joke, who share a small tidbit of news from their life, those are the ones who make a difference in my life.  Those are the type of people who I want to write about. I really think that we are not meant to live so detached and I also think that technology is going to do its best to detach us despite all it’s claims of bring us closer and connecting us. In closing I’ll just say that I don’t really have a big message today, I’m just ranting a little and trying to bring some attention to the matter and for now that is it and that is all! Take care everyone!


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