Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Winter Creeps In

Subtitled: Conversation with a Recorded Voice

Yesterday, trying to place an order for Christmas, I had a “conversation” with a prerecorded voice. You know those voices you hear at the other end of the line telling you this call is very important to them, and it may be recorded for “whatever purposes”, blah, blah, blah?

It went like this, after the initial intro:

If you’d like to place an order, say, “order”.

If you’d like to speak to Customer Care, say, “Customer Care”.

I said, “Order”.

The Voice said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that, would you mind repeating it?”

Now this is funny!

My hearing is less than perfect (perhaps a slight understatement), and I’ve made that same request so many times to people at the other end of the line. Here, now, was an automated voice saying it to me!

I repeated, “Order”.

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I should note that my voice is very low at the moment because I’m still recovering from a humdinger of a cold, but I said the word loud and clear both times.

The Voice said, “I’m sorry, but I still didn’t catch that”.

OK. What next?

Before I could react The Voice continued, “Please stay on the line and Customer Care will be with you as soon as possible”.


The Voice: “We are experiencing longer waits than usual. Your call will be answered as soon as the next assistant in Customer Care is available. Your call is very important to us, etc., etc. ……..”

At this point I hung up and placed the order using my computer. No hard-of-hearing, non-human voices to contend with. Short and sweet.

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As you can see by the above photos, winter is creeping in.

The gardens are wearing a light covering of snow.
Jasmine and Hannah spend a lot of time sleeping on the back of the couch.
Molly sits among the plants and watches the birds, when she's not sleeping.
A red squirrel routes around in the snow under the birdfeeders. We see so few squirrels that we always consider it a treat when one shows up. Be careful out there, Squirrel!
Chickadees and other birds delight us with their boundless energy.
We feel like to snoozing away the days like Hannah and the rest of the crew, but there's much to be done in preparation for the Christmas celebration.

Hibernation will have to wait.


GooseBreeder said...[Reply]

And won't it be enjoyable when it comes? Feet up time after the festivities..bneautiful!Hopefully reading the Christmas presents.
Lovely photos, the cats appear bored by the whole process of ordering by phone.On line is so much more convenient these days.
I went into a real bookshop the other day..total frustration and I vowed never to go again.

Vicki's Bit-o-earth said...[Reply]

LOL! Keri, you made me laugh outloud! In fact I too am recovering from a humdinger of a bug (confirmed by my doctor yesterday that it was the H1N1, now on antibiotics) and was trying to do the very same thing ... place an order for a Christmas present. I think I got the same voice you did! LOL

I love your photos of winter settling in. Here in the Calif. coast we rarely get a real winter, but last night we have a good freeze! My garden was swaddled in a white frost this morning. I wish I had felt well enough to go out and take some pictures of it.

Thank you for sharing your garden~

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...[Reply]

I get into this whenever I want to pay my iPHone bill by phone. The non-human voice can't understand so I hit pound sign about 8 times, voice freaks out and sends me to a real person. I'm evil and enjoy doing this.
The cats look like they're very happy that winter has crept in. Ours just figure it's an excuse to hug the stove.

Gail said...[Reply]

I heard a story on NPR about recorded responses and the one that irritates us the most is the one you got...How they value our business, etc. Cut to the chase folks and give us numbers to press!

It looks wonderful in your world~~the winter birds are the best company. Unfortunately, we had 6 squirrels, two chipmunks along with our assorted small birds! I have to scatter food on the ground or those squirrels will get into the feeders.


Marrissa said...[Reply]

Oooh those recorded messages really get me angry!! You capture the most beautiful moments in all your pictures! Thank you once again for the inspiration (and the comments you leave on my blog)!
Happy Holidays!!

CONEFLOWER said...[Reply]

Enjoyed your story although it's all to familiar. Very exhausting and frustrating. The worst ones are the ones where you are forced to use the phone and then when you do get to a real person, you can't understand THEM. And they are taught to use a limited number of answers, none of which help any. Guess you hit a nerve. Sorry.

I love your photos. They interjected sweetness into the story.

I don't always post, but I do always enjoy your stories.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...[Reply]

Your pictures are so beautiful! I love the cats, the bird, the birdhouse,... everything!We don't have snow yet, but it's cold...brrrr

Corner Gardener Sue said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
I'm not patient talking with machines, either. I enjoyed your photos.

I was noticing your squirrel has a white chest. It's pretty. Someone asked me what kind of squirrels I have, and from what I could tell, I thought they were red ones, but I didn't find images of red squirrels. I did find gray ones, and am wondering if that's what yours is. I really don't know that much about squirrels. Do you know for sure yours is a red one?

Winter is here in Nebraska. We have had over 6 inches of snow, and are expecting blizzard conditions in 45 minutes. My husband and I both work in a school, so we had today off, and will have tomorrow off, too. It is unusual to have 2 days in a row off. I believe it is heading your way.

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

I think we can all relate to the call you made. It always amazes me that they keep saying, "You're call is very important to us." NOT LIKELY!!!!!!

It does look like winter has arrived. We, too, are experiencing some really cold weather with freezes at night. The local farmers are very concerned about their citrus, avacados and strawberries. We still have two more nights ahead of us with tonight being the worst.

Apple said...[Reply]

I'm sorry for your frustration and yet your post made me smile. My daughter got so fed up one time that she just gave the phone to her youngest and let him jabber away - even after a real person was on the line!

I'm trying to decide which sounds worse - the freezing rain they predict for the morning or the 3-4' of snow Thursday and Friday! I hope it's not too bad down your way.

Debbie said...[Reply]

Always love seeing photos of your house and home. I have to agree, I do not enjoy ordering over the phone anymore...computer all the way for me.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...[Reply]

Order, order! Ha, I'm very happy we don't have such an ordering system in my country ...... yet!

Thanks for the story, it was fun, your garden looks wonerful and the snoozing kittycat absolutely adorable. At this time of year I wish I was a cat, no Christmas hassle just snoozing away the time. Utter Bliss.

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

The cats look so cozy lieing there on the sofa. I don't intend to get out much today either since the wind is howling. Such a strange sound. Winter is screaming its arrival here.

Tabor said...[Reply]

Loved the photo show while waiting on the phone with you! That chickadee photo is excellent. I also have had a chest cold since Thanksgiving although every day I am feeling better and better.

kylieps said...[Reply]

I'm sorry. I still didn't catch that. Will you please post this post again?
Funny post Mum. LOL

GardenJoy4Me said...[Reply]

That wouldn't be a "Sears" order line , would it Kerrie ?
I swear both of us had the same experience and I had to do the same thing on line !!! hahaha
I was so intent on reading your post I had to go back and look at your pictures again ;-)
Yes .. kitties on the back of the sofas .. especially in the family room where the fireplace is .. duh ?? LOL .. love the pictures and for some strange reason, we have more snow than you do ? haha
Hibernation mode will be in full swing after Xmas .. oops .. that is treadmill season ... YIKES !!
Joy : )

Sandra said...[Reply]

Funny post What a diff in your weather since 'Bloom Day'. Too cold for me. Enjoy!!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...[Reply]

What a delightfully funny post! I love it....and your cats! Do give them a kiss on the head from me.

sweet bay said...[Reply]

The pictures of the cats and chickadees are adorable!

I always try to order online whenever possible. I hate it when a company wants the customer to speak the options, instead of allowing the customer to just push a button!

verobirdie said...[Reply]

LOL!And what do you do when the operator is supposed to be French, but is clearly not. I don't hear well too, and the lady had an awful accent. I had to make her repeat every word, oh my!
But now I've got an hearing aid, and it helps. Have not tried it on recorded voice though, nor on customer care either...
That squirrel is beautiful!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...[Reply]

Those type of recorded calls drive me crazy, I find myself getting mad at the voice sometimes.
It looks just beautiful there! Lots of cute wildlife in and outside :)

Roses and Lilacs said...[Reply]

I love the photos. Cats and birds, two of my favorite subjects.

Isn't that voice recognition software the worst. I get so frustrated. I had to use it when placing refills for my Dad and Moms prescription medicine.

Bird Girl said...[Reply]

Well it sure was fun looking at all those wonderful pictures while reading about your frustrating phone call - one that we have ALL made! Oh the days when you could actually TALK to a human being! Next thing you know they will have a TEXT them instead - I sure hope not because I have even LESS patience for that ;-)
Yes, winter is creeping in and we have much to do for Christmas...
That was fun!

Bird Girl said...[Reply]

Oops...I keep forgetting to tell you that I asked my stepmother about he pastor you mentioned and she did say the name 'rang a bell' but then...the bells are getting quieter at age 82 - haha!She just can't remember!

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

Oh my goodness! I sure know how frustrating those automated answer machines are. I have been known to hang up too. One time I had tried and tried to get a human to talk to and when I finally did I asked, "are you a real person?" The lady laughed her head off before finally reassuring me that she was real. You just never know these days what you are talking to.
Your winter pictures are very pretty and your cats are just beautiful! Sometimes I wish I had one but then I remember the snakey things they used to bring into the house. I have two Yorkie's and they are enough for me right now.
I hope you have a lovely Christmas Kerri. God bless you and yours.

Midlife Mom said...[Reply]

Your cats seem to be doing the same thing mine are doing lately! It's rather cold this week so they are staying close to the fire, me too!! Sorry you have had a bad cold, seems like there is so much stuff going around now. Oh do I know your frustration with talking to a non-person! I don't know if it is my Maine accent or what but they never can understand me!!! I'm going online tonight and order the last couple of things I need for Christmas! I'm doing quite well with New Edition Blogger, other then not having spell check, I don't know what you and I will do when we finally hook up on the phone as I don't hear very well either!!!!!

*Ulrike* said...[Reply]

Ha! Don't even get me started on recorded voices! They are such a pain, and I don't know why companies think that they are such great customer service devices!! Anyhoo, winter does seem to be heading your way. They say we may, and that is may, have a wintery mix here in the south. Right now it is super cold so who knows? So if I want to see winter snow scenes I'll look at yours!!
Take Care!