Let's put real people on the phone
Monday of this week, it took me three minutes to reach a real live human in order to complete a task that should have taken 30 seconds from the time I dialed the number, asked the question and hung up.
When you have five calls to make for a single purpose, that adds up to wasted time if all those calls are answered automatically.
It is particularly annoying when - before going into the "menu options" -- you are first subjected to a litany of goods and services offered by the business you are calling - none of which has anything to do with the purpose of your call. Half the time, none of the options offered fulfill my need, so I end up punching 0 (if that's an option, and sometimes it is not) to get through to a real person.
So, before I've even made a real connection, the business has gotten off on the wrong foot with me by irritating me and wasting my time.
This is especially annoying when I am in Port Aransas trying to contact another business in Port Aransas. Port Aransas is not, for the Lord's sake, New York City! And even in New York City I'm not sure it's necessary to annoy callers in this manner.
The automated answering systems may be efficient for the company that has to answer the phone, but rarely have I found it to be efficient for me, the customer.
So, in my lifetime, when you call the South Jetty, a real person is going to take your call and put you through to the person who can help you if, in fact, the person who answers the phone can't take care of you him or herself.
A close second to automated answering systems, in my list of most annoying things, is the calls made by the secretaries for Very Important People who can't possibly make those calls thenselves, but who can inconvenience me by having me hold while these Very Important People take their sweet time getting to the phone.
Now, when I get a call from a secretary who says, "Can you hold for my Very Important Person?" I say, "No. When your Very Important Person wants to talk to me, have him/her call me. Goodbye."
If we keep up this automated stuff, and the business of having other people lift our little fingers for us, we are going to be one lousy, impersonal bunch of creeps.