Albert Einstein said it best - "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Or perhaps it was Stephen Hawking - who is quoted as making this logical statement - "It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years."
Both men were far ahead of their time. I, on the other hand, am but a mere mortal, in fact, a mortal woman, in menopause, so really, all wisdom from great thinkers goes straight out the window, like a boy getting caught in a girl's bedroom well past curfew. Not that this ever happened to me. Really, it never did.
I hear the reasoning and arguments in favor of automated phone calls, menu selections, etc. but for the life of me, none of it makes sense. One of the biggest pet peeves are the "Please press 1 if you want English, 2 if you want Spanish", which of course would be in Spanish. Doesn't anyone ever wonder if the person who speaks Spanish, Arabic, Latin, French, or any other language for that matter, other than English never even gets past the press 1 for English simply due to the fact that they don't understand the question to begin with?
After pressing 1, my next question would be, "Please listen to the following options", which undoubtedly never delineates exactly which department I need. Somehow, the question I have doesn't have a category. So, you go through about 10 options, listening very carefully to keep a mind inventory of all the numbers and options, and where they will direct you to. By the time you get to option 10, you might as well hang it up, because you have forgotten 1 through 9, and what they might transfer you to.
10! Oh, I've just been given the option to speak to an operator. Now, this may or may not mean that you will actually get a living breathing body on the other line. And, if that person actually is living and breathing, they may or may not know how to help you. Its like rolling the dice. Come on, CRAPS!
Recently, I attempted and finally succeeded in applying for a small community college in southern California in order to take ONE COURSE. First, I went to the website, which, of course, did not answer the questions I had. I then called the numbers provided to me for the particular department I was interested in. The first round of phone calls got me transferred to three different locations, after pressing every single number possibly known to mankind. I think I may have actually hit infinity. I finally had a regular person on the line, who I posed my question to, only to then find out that the only person in the entire world of this college was on vacation. I thought to myself..."Well of course they are." One of the great tragedies of my life is that if it can go wrong, it will; if it can be lost, it will. The process of applying for a college course once you are over the age of 45, and in a state of menopause should actually BE a college course. I nearly threw the computer out the window.
Then comes the angst of ever trying to get a human if your cable goes out, or the electrical bill is off, or God forbid, YOU NEED TO CONTACT THE IRS - my advice on that last one is to give up, flee the country and change your name. Gone are the phone calls, on the old rotary dial phone, which allow you to dial something that had letters and numbers in it, actually hear a human answer the phone where upon you hear, "Thank you for calling, my name is Sally Sue, how may I be of assistance to you?" Can you imagine how much happier the world would be?
Until then, I feel it to be prudent to block off at least one hour whenever the need arises to contact anyone by phone, especially a public service agency, and also try to take an Ativan, have a cup of coffee nearby, food for at least a week, a port-a-potty, bedroom slippers and a pillow. Now, please press 1.