Got stuck in one of those automated phone systems today. Our dishwasher is the latest appliance in our new old house to die a quick death, so I had to call the home warranty folks to see about a replacement.
You know these systems. “Thank you for calling ACME Home Warranty. We appreciate your call. You are now entering our automated voice system. If you’d like to continue in English, say ‘yes’.
Now I want to continue in English, but not with the computerized voice on the other end of the line. But these voices are sort of like car salesmen. Once they get you to say something, they own you.
And if they get you, you’ll sit on the phone for 15-20 minutes saying things like “yes”, “no”, “3”, “yes”, “I don’t know”, “I don’t know”, “yes”. My wife got caught up in one of those calls tonight and I darn near missed all of the dialogue in “Everybody Hates Chris”.
So here’s what I do.
When they first ask “if you’d like to continue in English”, or “do you want to continue”, or “please say your name”, I say
“mshmorph, codaz, minkophink”
That’s when the voice says “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that.”
Then I say “ninokphant, ghorx mytosis”.
“I’m sorry. Let’s try again. Please say your name”
(a little angrier this time, and shouting)
“RYOXPITS TRINGUN BEESHPORTZIN!!!”
And then I hear those beautiful words
“I’m sorry, I’m having trouble understanding. Let me connect you with one of our customer service agents.”
It always works.