You have a problem with the local council, your internet provider or your utilities. Perhaps you want the time of the next train to the Kyle of Lochalsh.
It’s 6. 55 a.m. next Tuesday, if you’re interested.
You pick up the phone, dial the appropriate number, a couple of seconds pass and then your heart sinks as you hear these words spoken by an automated voice that unconvincingly attempts to convince you….
“We are experiencing a high volume of calls at the moment but please hold as your call is important to us!”
Important to you? Really? Hmmm…somehow that doesn’t quite ring true.
It’s a pity we, the public, don’t have the technology to respond to the automated voice machine with one of our own that says, “Actually, sunshine, this call is more important to me because I took time out of my busy day to phone you in the hope you could solve my problem – once you’ve put down your cheese & pickle sandwich and picked up the phone!”
That annoyingly trite, pre-recorded excuse for not answering the ‘phone must be high on the list of the ‘Most Dispiriting Regularly Heard Words In The English Language’,for which, apparently, there’s a competition currently running.
There are so many to choose from. Like…
“Weekend rail replacement service” – which is BR PR speak for “You may have bought a train ticket to get you to London in a couple of hours but your journey will take all day Sunday because for half of it you’ll be on a crowded bus that’ll get stuck in a 10-mile traffic jam on the M4 near Chippenham”!
Then there’s “Unexpected item in baggage area!” which is just what you don’t want to hear when you’ve used the person-less checkout against your better judgement only because you’re in a hurry.
Not forgetting, “Are you alright there?” the annoying question I’ve mentioned before that shop assistants now inexplicably use instead of, “May I Help You?”
I’ll leave you to ponder over the ones that annoy you. Meantime, have a nice day! Oops! Now I’m at it…