“It sure is nice to be able to talk to a real person.”
Much of our business depends on the telephone, which used to mean finding the number, making the call and hearing “Hello,” after a couple rings.
Not that way now. Last Thursday, we called a government agency to see what an old cowboy should do when eligible to get back money he’s been paying Uncle Sam more than four decades.
One of our advisor-friends has a friend who’s smart on the subject, so we called to get her name, because we forgot who he’d said.
Telephone books have many ways to find numbers, but we couldn’t figure out which was which. So, to our embarrassment, we reverted to the computer, and located a number.
One ring, and an obviously-working-class-gentleman answered, but he wasn’t who we wanted. Such calls must be frequent, as the congenial-respondent instantly gave a “toll-free-number to call.”
Four attempts were answered: “All lines are busy. Please go to the computer, and fill out a form.”
No. We aren’t going to do that. We’ve done it before, without success.
After finding another local-number, we called to get: “This is a non-working-number. Please check if the number is right.” We dialed twice more for the same response.
A different toll-free-number was also listed, so we tried it. The machine answered, with the rigmarole: “Push this if, then push this, your number is, your birthdate is, and on and on.”
Grudgingly, we did, and finally, believe it or not, an obviously-southeastern-woman answered: “May I help you?” We told her who we wanted. She became completely baffled.
“I’m in Atlanta, Georgia. Who do you want? What state? Now, what state? Oh. What town? How do you spell that?”
Finally, she recited the same toll-free-number the gentleman had 25-minutes earlier.
This time, after “only” four-more button-pushes, a sweet-lady answered. Lo-and-behold, it was who we’d been trying to get all along.
Insisting consistently that it can all “be done online,” she finally consented to an appointment “on the phone.”
No. “We want face-to-face.” Eventually, a meeting was set.
It took 29-minutes for what should have been a 29-seconds-conversation.
Reminds us of Second Thessalonians 2:16: “Take a firm stand, keep a tight grip in personal conversation.” Then, Judges 19:30: “Think about it. Talk it over. Do something.”