Customer care

Customer care

Recently, use of a certain broadband internet connection led to a mighty bill, one that made me a little dizzy just looking at it. Of course, I had used the thing and stretched the download caps a little, then again, the total amount that came to was more than I’d thought it could be. No doubt customer care would help in a situation like this. A bold move towards the phone was the next logical step, followed by rapid dialling of numbers.
From there on, the waiting began.

A recorded voice, with an eerie sounding echo and plenty of static for accompaniment, sounded off instructions, press one for this, two for that, three for something else. Patiently, a number was selected by this hapless caller, and the next set of instructions followed. One for this language, two for that. And to follow, another set of instructions.

Then came the next step – to key in a passcode of several digits. By now, my phone’s screen was hopelessly jammed with a string of numbers, all in jumbled glory.  Somehow or the other, the passcode was typed in, followed by the hash key…and it was rejected. Trying not to look at the nightmare string of numbers, the passcode was entered again, and accepted. The recorded voice, part of it adopting the bored monotone of a digitized voice, resumed, with directions here, there, everywhere.

By now, this caller was beginning to doubt the existence of real people at the other end. Maybe the world had actually been taken over by the machines, and people were a myth that no longer existed. Besides, fifteen minutes had passed already…and what was the question waiting to be asked again? Just in case a human did actually answer the call?

Time can cause forgetfulness, and as I scrambled for the infamous bill, true words never seemed truer. Yes, now I had the question again. The disembodied voice assured me someone would attend to the call very soon, and to please stay on the line. A series of rings mingled with strange music followed for some time. My eyes wandered to the clock.

Lunch time already, and a good half hour gone on this call. Wasted? Perhaps it was wasted. But if somebody would please pick up this infuriating call, maybe there was some meaning to the whole affair.

Then the voice I was beginning to dread returned, and in full emotionless glory informed me that nobody seemed to be answering my call, which I was sure I didn’t know, and to call again later. The line went dead. Just was well. If at all someone had actually responded by then, the horror of it would have shaken my faith in humanity.

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