I am so thoroughly fed up with the modern means of communication, or should I say non-communication.
Phil and I both did office work all our working lives; I operated a busy switchboard for 7 years plus shorthand/typing (when required) and some clerical duties.
Back then, when we wished to find out something, we would ring a telephone number and be answered by a usually pleasant voice giving the name of the firm we were calling and asking what it was we wanted to be assisted with. If we asked for a particular person and they were unavailable for some reason the suggestion would be made that a message could be left if we would provide our name and return telephone number. Now I know that only employed one person but if all businesses today did that I feel it would cut down on the number of unemployed.
Today Phil had to ring a 1300 number (at 35cents a pop and those 35 cents soon add up) to register the new credit card he has received in the mail. At the same time had wanted to change his PIN. He continued on with the monotonous questions until he was able to speak to a representative of that particular firm. When he requested changing his PIN he was transferred to an automated voice (or an automaton as I call them). He twice keyed in his new PIN and on the second occasions was told it was not acceptable (it was not a 1234 number or 1111 or anything like that) and to ring back in 24hours. He was then disconnected.
I then telephoned a 1300 number and once again after going through lots of prompts I spoke to a (you guessed it) a representative of the firm. Fortunately, although of foreign extract, he was easy to understand and very helpful. He confirmed I indeed did have an account with XXXX but had not registered to contact them via the internet. I told him that was strange as I had a user name and password and had contacted them using them in the past. He suggested maybe it had been discontinued but could give no reason why. I have since re-registered so can contact them via the internet it needs be.
While speaking to this gentleman I explained about the difficulty Phil had in trying to change his PIN and he found that call on the records but could not explain why the PIN had not been accepted. He said he would transfer me to the same automated voice and I could put in the new PIN. This he did and I put in the PIN. Now I am wondering if it was Phil's PIN that was changed or mine?????? Next visit to the shop will determine the results so watch this space.
I know I am old and it is not always easy to move with the times but, oh dear, how I long for contact with real people who will help you immediately without time being wasted and just for the cost of a local call too.
P.S. When I operated the switchboard my boss was complimented several times on the efficiency of the switchboard operator which thrilled me to bits. Also if say 3 calls came in at the same time it was simple to says 'hold the line please' and then attend to each call in turn as rapidly as one could. It was amazing how quickly I became familiar with the different voices that called regularly and I was always pleased to be able to name them without them telling me and I know that sort of made their day. You have to have pride in your work, no matter which job you have.