Have you ever started a perfectly fine day with a “benign” call about a billing error or something needing immediate attention, only to discover you’re lost in the impersonal world of automatic answerers, and malfunctioning redirects? This was how my beautiful Monday started after a lovely weekend.
I spent half an hour trying to get to the right person at my bank regarding an online billing error, and was directed to no less than eight people, all of whom were very chirpy and courteous, but unhelpful. I then was caught up in the automated system of another online account, and never did get to a human. I decided to give it a rest, and waited to get to my office to complete my calls, figuring my frustration tolerance would improve with the beautiful view. No such luck. It wasn’t until my final call to an internet service, that I reached a person on the first try! He was informative, patient, and human. What a relief! When this happens, I remind myself to be in that category, return calls on time, make a connect, and not be another piece of automation in an impersonal world. I then make a point of smiling at toll-takers, thanking people for holding doors open, and avoid anything at all like road rage. Especially if you’re lonely, this is like a tonic, and you’re part of the solution in what can feel like a cold, impersonal place.