Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Phone Trees

I hate phone trees. You try to call the cable company, or the electric company, or just about any company and what do you get? You get a computerized voice.

"To help our service representatives and speed your service, please enter, or speak, your 15 digit account number now." You'd better enter in the number through your phone's keypad because the computer never gets the numbers that you speak.

"Please enter your personal identification number now." If you pass both of these tests, you get.

"Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed . . . ." Then you get menu after menu of options, all supposedly directing you to the exact right person that will be able to address your problem. Ultimately, no matter how many options you go through, you still end up with -

"All customer representatives are currently busy. Your call is very important to us - please hold for the next available operator." Followed by muzak, which presumably was specially chosen to offend nobody and instead actually drives everyone crazy.

When someone eventually does pick up, you go through the entire process over again as almost inevitably the first things they ask for is your account number, your personal identification number, your mother's maiden name, and that you confirm your address, phone number, etc.

By the time you get to actually start the conversation that you called to have, it has been twenty minutes and you are ready to scream. Then, in my experience, about 98% of the time the person that I end up speaking with is either the wrong person and I have to be transferred to someone else, or the person does not have the authority to address my problem and I have to talk to their supervisor.

Why, oh why, can't you just call and actually talk to a person? Why when you call the cable company's customer service line to report that there is a problem with your cable can't you actually just get to someone to tell them the problem that you are having? Why can't you speak with the person that can actually address your problem?

This morning I was reading from Isaiah. I turned the page past where I was reading and stumbled across this:

"Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I." Isaiah 58:9

It is comforting to me to know that when I really need help, when I really need an answer, I can call directly to God. There are no middle men, there are no menus of options, there is no risk of wasting time and energy talking to the wrong person. And, God doesn't make me confirm my account, make sure that I am up to date with my payments, or put me through any tests before He hears my prayers. He knows me, He knows why I am calling, He is always immediately available and He is always the right person for the problem.

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