Thursday, April 20, 2006


How often do you feel like a total stupid?

Err..never mind! Lets say, how often are you made to feel like a total stupid? I am made to feel that day in and day out - when I find myself holding a customer-care phone line, listening to those tasteless musical tones

And i am ashamed of myself when I know the voice on the other side is a machine and I am having to reply to its 'simple questions', like "how would you like me to help you today?", or "please say whether you are a member or a provider". To the last one, I sometimes end up yelling "heck, I am neither a member or a provider, I am a goddamn idiot, talking to a dumb computer program!"

Remember those sci-fi stories about how one day, machines will take over us humans and we'll have to fight them to gain our identities. Guess what? That day is here! And we don't fight the machines, we beg them - every day

And those stories should be news-stories, not a sci-fi. As a matter of fact, there was a news story on NPR the other day about this guy who has put together a database of tips to fool those "interactive" voice response systems.

I really admire this guy's work and I am sure many of us are benefitting from it - not flushing our valuable work-hours, holding the phones to the voices of these "how may I help you?" phone machines.

But the the irony remains that the technology has taken over us humans so badly that we need 'shortcuts' to reach a human to talk to. And the ever-so-profit-hungry corporates work hard to devise ways to keep you off a real person.


Anonymous said...

You should try It's similar idea. However their idea is to call you when operator from selected company waits for you on the line!

Ron Turner said...

My friend just emailed me about a new site at that contains what looks like hundreds of companies, their phone numbers, instructions for reaching a live person, etc. You can even upload recordings of customer service calls and update/add listings as well. Similar to, but for features and easier to use. Very cool site!