January 18, 2008

Totally weird

I got a message today that I had to call my bank, so I did, and when I did I got caught in one of those crazy "voice" systems, where you talk and the computer lady listens. ("If you would like to proceed in English, say English, now" )
and ten minutes later I was out of my mind because none of the options for things I could say were things that I wanted. ("To check your account balance, say account balance, now")

I was starting to flip out, and the voice was saying things like "Sorry you're having trouble" which is what the voice says right before they unceremoniously dump you with a saccharine "Goodbye" when I snapped, and said something that wasn't one of the options. In a tone that I can only describe as hostile and sarcastic, when the voice said "Please tell me which option you would like" I said

"What I would like, is to talk to a real person."

And the bank voice said...

"I think I heard you ask for a representative. Please hold".

Seriously. I asked a machine for a real person, and I got one. Stunning, isn't it? What this means (I think, naturally, not working for the bank I have no actual proof) is that the bank has taught the computer that the words "real person" mean "this person wants a representative or they will come off the rails", which has to mean that I'm not the only person who's said this. Very reassuring somehow, and totally weird. It gave me the disconcerting feeling that the bank computer was actually listening to me, which isn't something that even the real people at the bank do. Freaky.

The weird wasn't even over. When I got a representative? It was this guy who said his name was "Andy" (a likely story. If I needed a fake name for bank phone work that's what I would choose), but I swear to all my wool with absolute certainty that it was David Reidy from Sticks and String podcast. I'd know that voice anywhere.

He denied it. Which was weird too...'cause he seems so nice on the podcast.

Nice try David. Great speaking with you, even if it was about my client card.

Posted by Stephanie at January 18, 2008 2:19 PM