Monday, 13 December 2010

Please Press - 1.

It is a marvellous age we live in, is it not? We have machines that can do almost everything for you. We have a great little song here that is being used to encourage people to go online and pay their TV License. It starts with the words, “Push a little button.” You find yourself signing it for ages after you have heard it. Is it effective? Well in a nation of 5 million, people there are 38,000 households who do not pay a licence, and have no intention of doing so unless taken to court. It is the same with road tax and car insurance. The numbers are just a frightening, probably the same people though.

So, the automated age, is it not amazing? The personal touch is disappearing, I find that so sad. When I call my doctor, I am answered by a list of possible things I might want. it is always the case though that the one thing I do want, to see a doctor, is not on the list. The other day there I was trying to contact a service company. I was in a good mood as I lifted up the phone, ready to explain my problem to whomever answered the call. By the time I managed to reach a human being there were fumes coming out my nostrils, I felt like a raging bull. I had to bite my tongue so that my anger was not taken out on the poor girl who was only doing her job.

Now it is not all bad news. When I was in education, we all knew who the most important people were in the system. The janitors and the school secretaries; and not always in that order. I often thought an automated service might be better than have to get past them. They on the other hand, were always quick to tell us what a terrible job they had. They used to say they would rather do anything rather than face the calls of some parents. So here you are, a little belatedly, I apologise. I list of possible alternatives you might wish to have.

"Hello! You have reached the automated answering service for Aughenshoogle School. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

- To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1

- To make excuses for why your child did not do his/her homework - Press 2

- To complain about what the staff here do - Press 3

- To simply swear at a staff members - Press 4

- To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5

- If you want us to take care of your child after school hours - Press 6

- If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7

- To request yet another teacher for your child - Press 8

- To complain that the school is not open early enough for work hours - Press 9

- To complain about school lunches - Press 0

- If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behaviour, class work, homework and that it's not all the teachers' fault for your child's lack of effort: - Hang up and have a nice day!

I spent yesterday in the crowds of shoppers trying to get Christmas shopping done. Why cant we just have little buttons for that also? Online does not work if the delivery people cannot get to you for snow. HELP.

Time for me to hang up I hope you have a nice day.

 I have not updated my other blog today my apologies.


  1. Good Morning Ralph, I can press no buttons. I am an antique. I do not own a cell phone. I have the same land-line rotary dial phone that I have had for forty years! It still works.

  2. I too hate the automated systems. I often wonder too why it takes 5 calls to accomplish what one call should..but thankfully so far today no calls here and no need to call anyone.

  3. I so agree with you Ralph! We all need to get back to simplicity and dealing with situations in person. I sometimes take the option of staying on the phone and pretending I don't have a touch phone. I like people to assume I have a rotary dial. It is much faster that way.... We have to question where all this technology is taking us. It is all so impersonal. Great post!!!