2019-03-15 / Commentary

Doctor Drama

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

I know I’ve complained about this before but our world is becoming unpeopled and humanless. Technology is taking over every single person-to-person encounter we’ll ever have!

And I hate it!

I hate it when I need to talk to a utility company or a doctor’s office or any business out there and I get the canned recording asking me a gazillion questions about myself and my account before I can speak to an actual human being!

And THEN when the human DOES come on the phone, THEY ask me to REPEAT everything I just spent five minutes telling the recording!

It’s maddening.

It really is.

I don’t know why they just don’t let PEOPLE answer the phones because that would be so much faster and more proficient than having to key in account and social security numbers and punching “1” for this and “2” for that. Half the time they don’t even HAVE a number for what I need!!!

Doctor’s offices are the WORST! They are almost ALWAYS answered with a recording and that recording will almost ALWAYS start off with “If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911!”

Well no kidding?

I can promise you if, God forbid, I was in the middle of having a heart attack or some other major health crisis, I would NOT dial up my doctor’s office!!!

I’m actually lucky as far as doctors go. Almost all my doctors’ offices have PEOPLE answering the phones and there are no recordings unless the offices are closed, but I’ve called doctors’ offices for friends and family members who aren’t so fortunate.

First, every office I call asks the same questions and most of them have robotic machines that for some reason can’t hear my voice clearly so I always have to punch in numbers.

“Thank you for calling Doctors blah, blah, blah…punch 1 for English.”

I punch one. (Once I accidently pushed 2 and then got a choice of 11 languages. ELEVEN! And English wasn’t one of them! Maybe it was because English had its own number but still….)

“You punched 1 for English. Push 1 if that’s correct.”

I push one again. A full minute has passed and I’m only on question two.

The recording will go on to give me choices of paying my bill, renewing a prescription, making an appointment, and a bunch of other options until the one I want, to speak with a person, is called out as the very last choice!

I get excited thinking this is the moment…I will FINALLY speak to a HUMAN!

But no.

Then I get ANOTHER set of options as to WHY I want to speak to a person! Does it include paying my bill, renewing a prescription, or making an appointment? And we’re back to square one.

And now the companies are getting all fancy-shmancy with the names of the people. It used to be simply “representative” but these days there is a plethora of titles just to mess with the callers. I’ve heard “account engineer,” “file manager,” “administrative director,” “executive management director” and at least a dozen more. Gone are the days that you can just scream “REPRESENTATIVE” repeatedly to mess up the robotic answering machine so they boot you over to a person.

And “0” no longer gets you through to a human either.

When I DO get a human on the line, a good five to ten minutes has gone by, depending on the wait time, where you get to listen to really bad and often poorly recorded and always WAY TOO LOUD music with the recorded voice breaking in every so often to thank me for my patience and to assure me that my call is VERY important to whomever I’m calling.

I don’t believe that recorded voice at all. I don’t think anyone in that company or office gives two twigs about me or my business! If they did, they would hire people to answer the phones so this kind of thing didn’t happen to people.

No one likes being lost in the ubiquitous land of “on hold.”

So…to all you medical folks out there lying awake at night worrying and wondering if someone will mistakenly call your office during a major health crisis, relax!

We won’t.

We’ll call an Uber or Lyft and they will get us to the hospital quicker than we could talk to a human in your offices.

And I do hope no humans ever listen to those tapes while I’m on hold or trying to talk to a person…I’m not my best self while on hold…and the language can get a tad dicey. You’re welcome for our patience and we know just how important our call is to you.

I’m just saying…

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