by SHELLEY BRUCAR
If you like talking to automated systems, please press or say 1.
If you would like to hear a directory of names from the local phone book, please press or say 2.
If you would like to talk to a human who may or may not be able to help you, please press or say 3. The wait is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes because we get so many calls about our products not working.
If you would like to speak with a human who will understand your frustration but will still not be able to help you, please press or say 4.
If you would like to speak with a human who will not be reading off a set script, please press or say 5. Then hang up because we do not offer this option.
If you would like to jump through the phone line and strangle someone, please press or say 6.
If you would like to talk with a supervisor, please press or say 7. Nothing will happen because supervisors cannot be found.
If you would really like to manage your stress, please press or say 8. Then hang up immediately and go for a walk.
If you would like to be transferred to a different, but equally unhelpful menu, please press or say 9.
If you are seriously considering giving it all up and becoming Amish, please press or say… oh sorry, we’re out of numbers.
This probably sounds familiar to anyone who has ever phoned just about any company, agency, institution, etc. in our current, advanced technological society. If by some chance you do get to speak with a human, you can explain that the phone on your account – along with internet and tv – are all not working. The person at the other end of the line will inevitably ask you if the phone on your account is a good call-back number in case you get disconnected. Take at least 3 deep breaths and explain that the number you are currently calling from – which actually works – would probably be a better call-back number in case you get disconnected, which by the way, is going to happen fairly soon if that person keeps asking questions like that one.
At the end of any conversation, the voice at the other end of the phone will ask you if s/he can help you with anything else (obviously part of the script). This wording, “anything ELSE”, implies that you have already been helped with something. And you may also be asked how you would rate the service you have received. They do not want to hear that the “service” you received is quite possibly the worst you can remember in your lifetime.
So yes, in the last 24 hours, I have had the lovely opportunity to deal with three different automated phone systems. For 2 out of 3, service, or lack thereof, was absolutely appalling. The voice in my head was telling me I was going to have a stroke if this kept up. Then the mail came, and I got the (“normal”) results of my “almost annual” mammogram. I immediately realized that if those results had not been “normal”, all this other stuff would not have the gigantic importance that I had allowed it. In fact, it would not have mattered at all. So I went for a walk/run to the gym, worked out, and walked home. And look at this – up and running again, at least for the moment.
The switch from “I think I’m going to have a stroke.” to “I am so grateful to be healthy.” – THAT is what I call Perspective. THAT is what I call REFRAMING!
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