It’s ironic that the device I use the most is also the one I can’t stand using. At least part of it.
Today I made airline reservations and was forced to call Delta to speak to an actual human. Four times. The first representative couldn’t help me so she transferred me to another department. But we got cut off, so I had to call back and re-explain the issue to someone I knew couldn’t help. The second rep gave me the number to call directly to the online support desk. So I did, but unfortunately she gave me the number to Delta’s internal IT service desk. For employees. Call #3 fail. Finally the fourth call was the charm and a supervisor was able to override whatever systems were creating the havoc to begin with.
This issue is a microcosm of why I hate talking on the phone. But it’s more than that. I will do almost anything to avoid talking on the phone. Here are a few reasons why…
- The delay. Incredible that cell phone providers haven’t improved this. After 20 years, callers still stammer through pauses between speakers and then end up talking over each other because neither party hears the other. This timing problem makes having a normal conversation so difficult.
- The abyss. Don’t call me and stay on the line unnecessarily without saying anything. Get to the point. Time’s a wastin! And it’s disrespectful to take up someone’s time for nothing.
- The clueless helper. How many customer phone reps does it take to change a lightbulb? The reason I avoid calling to speak with someone like the plague is that they don’t know what the hell they’re doing, if they can even grasp my issue from their call center in India or South America. It’s just so much easier to fix it yourself online.
- The bad timing. Inevitably the phone starts vibrating when you can least get to it. When your arms are full of grocery bags; when you’re running late to drop off the kids; or in general when you can’t be bothered. Yet you can’t NOT answer the phone because you never know what emergency lies on the other end.
There are so many reasons why, but before you think I’m some sort if grumpy curmudgeon, read what The Oatmeal says on the subject. They sum it up better than I can…