Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Can't I just talk to someone on the phone?


I just want to talk to a person.

A real actual person.

Lately, I have been getting more and more irritated with automated voice systems.

I understand why places have these systems, but when there is not an option for what I am calling for I never know what to do. I usually push the number for the operator, but even then that doesn’t always work.

Sometimes there isn’t even an operator option so I wind up listening to the menu choices for about 10 minutes before making a selection only to be informed my entry was invalid and I must start over all again.

This happened to me last week.

All I wanted to do was make a doctor’s appointment for my sons and it took me a half an hour of pressing buttons before I finally spoke to a real person.

In my opinion, the worst thing you want to hear is the dreaded line “Please listen carefully as our options have recently changed.” That is never a good sign. I heard that line quite a bit.

At least in my case it wasn’t. I did listen over and over again to the menu options, but they never said which button I needed to push for the department I needed.

Pretty soon, I heard an option that might work. I pushed it. After a lengthy list of menu choices, there was a quick message at the end saying the department I was wanting to select was no longer apart of this particular scheduling system and I had to dial a different number.

“Good,” I thought I am finally getting somewhere. I should have known better.

I called that number and listened to all of the options three or four times and still did not hear the department I was looking for. So I pressed the button that told me to go to a different department. It sent me right back to first automated voice system.

No way!

No I was getting mad. I listened again to the first set of options and selected a number. It sent back to the second number I was supposed to dial. At this point I thought I was never going to get the appointments made. I listened and selected a department I knew was connected with the department I was seeking. Finally, I got to talk to someone. A real, live person!

She was helpful and nice so I didn’t want to complain about how complicated the system was. She informed me that she couldn’t make an appointment for the day I wanted because the computer system wouldn’t allow her to schedule that far out, however, she offered to put us on a waiting list for that month, which means they will call those on the waiting list before letting others schedule that month. I hope this is how it really works, but after trying to make an appointment for a half and hour I will probably just call back next month and try the whole thing again.

At least I was smart enough to make notes of which buttons I pushed so next time I shouldn’t have such a hard time.


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