Life in the Golden Years: What’s taking so long?

Linda Alessi • Updated Aug 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM

How many hours do you think you spend on the telephone speaking to no one? It is most frustrating to call a company and go through several levels of computer responses. It can take many minutes of your time, which is as important as the time allotted to the company to help you with a problem.

I cannot speak for you, but certainly my experience has been one of the most annoying and time-consuming problems of our day. Is it so much to ask for to speak to a human being who might be pleasant, will listen and be sympathetic to your needs? I really do not think so. I know I have found myself losing my patience with a non-existent telephone partner and begin shouting into the telephone to relieve my anxiety.

Then again, there are the times when you may call a company and the person answers in the most extremely polite way. Now, you know for sure you are not connected to anyone who is in the United States. The politeness is to an annoying degree that is an immediate indication that you have been connected to someone in a far-off place such as Manila, in the Philippines or more likely a remote place in India where everyone is instructed to the inth degree by the same trainer whose saccharine script is enough to make you ill from the overdose.

I can surely take some politeness, but when it takes 15-20 minutes of “thank you, Linda,” and, by the way, they always ask to use your given name so it seems friendly and intimate, I lose patience. You are asked repeatedly to hold on while they do what they do to get the information or help you need. After many interruptions, but always with such sweetness and thanks, you still have no solution to your particular problem. I have often resorted to asking for a supervisor and that may also lead to a dead end. I know we are sometimes impatient and want immediate attention, and we should practice to be more so, but enough is enough.

I have now instituted a policy all my own by asking at the beginning of a conversation that I desire to speak to someone here in the good ole U.S. to help me.  That is not always possible, but it surely helps when it works.

That is not the only annoyance I have encountered recently. The interruptive advertising on the computer is another source of irritation. Never fall for the elusive and seductive free gifts, be it airline tickets, free vacations, hair removal or many other things. They are all a way to get you involved in a long intricate procedure of questions and answers in which you really do not want to invest. A recent response by me to a seemly innocent request took me into a series of 15-20 screens of questions on a survey of which had no bearing on the original inquiry.

I know I sound petty and impatient, but at my advanced age, I don’t have all this time to waste on such nonsense. I have trouble enough to keep up with the daily routine that we all have. Our energy is precious and not to be consumed on the so-called progress in the world of technology today.

I guess that is enough complaining for today but not forever.


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