It seems that every time I call a company these days, the first thing I hear when the line is picked up are the following words.
“Thank you for calling Our Big Megacorporation. Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed.”
Feel free to substitute “Our Big Megacorporation” for any business name you please. For the sake of this discussion, it’s pretty much all the same.
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe that the menu options on the automated phone trees of every company on this planet has recently changed. In all likelihood, some companies are using the same menu they’ve been using for quite a while with few, if any, changes. This must be true unless, of course, there is only one automated response company in the world and they supply only one message for every company on the planet. Again, that seems unlikely. So why then, if it’s impossible for every automated answering system’s menu to have recently changed are we being told this over and over again. After a great deal of thought, maybe as much as five minutes, I think I’ve nailed it.
What the message actually means is, “Listen you stupid caller. We know that you think you’re clever and that you remember every damned company’s phone tree. You hitting the wrong number means that you’re going to disturb one or our people with requests to be transferred to somebody who doesn’t even work here and frankly, we’d rather than them not be disturbed by losers like you.” That’s one version.
Here’s the second. “Dear halfwit caller. We don’t enjoy being bothered by people like you so we’ve created this complex menuing system which, while it hasn’t been updated in years, claims it does because we’re on the other end placing bets as to how long you’re willing to continue pushing buttons before hanging up in frustration.” And we hate your little dog, too.
A third scenario. “Hey moronic caller, don’t you dare push zero to reach an operator. Besides, the operator does pretty much all the work at this company, including answering the phone and we need her to fetch coffee right about now. If you listen to the menu, there’s a 50/50 chance you can reach the answering machine of somebody who doesn’t work nearly as hard as the receptionist.”
And this forth, also highly plausible,scenerio. “Dear caller. We spent so much money on this phone system that we never bothered changing the default message that says our menu options may have changed. Since we don’t know how, claiming that our menu options have changed makes us sound important and very much the company on the move while making sure we never have to learn this damned menu system.”
There may be other meanings associated with the “our menu options have changed” message, but I think I’ve pretty much got it.
What do you think?