Automated messages make for holes in walls

By Daniel Martynowicz

I would consider myself a patient man. I can wait for hours at the DMV, listen to crying babies on an airplane, and watch The Notebook.

However, if I have to navigate through one more automated customer service representative, I’m going to lose my mind. I’m talking about an incoherent, slack jawed, drooling, puppy-punching rampage of Biblical proportions.

The death of customer service and person to person phone conversations have come at the expense of the customer’s sanity. My bank recently decided to change the password to my online account without my knowledge. I couldn’t check my balance and fearing an overdraft fee, I was forced to call the bank’s 1-800 number. It must have been accidently wired to Satan’s outhouse.

A disembodied female voice answered, sounding aloof and superior as only a Satanic robot could. “Thank you for calling customer service, your call is important to us. Please select the following options…”

Options 1-4 had nothing to do with online banking, so I pressed zero to back out and reach an operator.

CS: “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Please select from the following options…”

She then gave me the same 4 options.

Me: “Dear god. Alright. OP-ER-A-TOR.”

CS: “To make sure I get you to the right place, I need to know why you are calling.”

Me: “I’m calling because you changed my password without my permission, and I now have no access to my money.”

CS: “I’m sorry? I didn’t catch that.”

Me: “I’m going to dip you in seal butter and throw you into the polar bear tank.”

Awkward pause.

CS: “Please select from the following options.”

Me: “Oh my God.” I hit zero furiously for about 10 seconds before checking to see if anything had happened.

CS: “Please wait while I transfer you to an attendant who will assist in your call.”

Finally, I was on to something. I sat on hold for about 10 minutes before my arm got tired of holding the phone. With the speakerphone on, I was able to hear the advertising and bad elevator music from two rooms away. This allowed me to shower, do laundry and make a sandwich all while listening to a recording tell me how important my call was to the bank. After about 40 minutes of this, the voice was back.

CS: “Thank you, Goodbye.”

And so ended the hour long customer service call from hell. Two things happened the next day. First, I went to my bank’s local branch and closed every account. It’s now in a shoe box under my bed, I honestly think it’s safer there.

Second, I took some of the money and purchased drywall mud. I had to fix a cell phone sized hole in my bedroom wall.