They tell me that in our society today we’re losing our human connection with each other. They tell me that it’s all the fault of the interwebs or the smart phones and we should really be pining for those days when we used carrier pigeons to get a message over to the neighboring town and we thought that solar eclipses were a sign that God was angry with us. To be fair, they also tell me that I need to cut all the protein out of my diet. No, actually protein is good and carbs are bad. No, actually some carbs are ok, but some are bad carbs. Wait, I was wrong. Now those are actually good carbs and the good carbs cause cancer. So you’ll pardon me if I don’t pay a lot of attention to what they say. One way in which I wish the human connection would return is on the phone. It’s rare for all my carrier pigeons to be down with the bird flu, but when I make a call I want to hear a human voice. The last conversation I had on the phone was with the automated system for Am-Trak, and why it couldn’t understand the destination, “Chicago, shut up I’m on the phone” is honestly beyond me. Maybe I wasn’t cursing enough? Oh, what you think I should have just driven to Chicago? Have you seen the traffic in that city? It’s insane. When the apocalypse hits and everyone goes mad with fear they literally will not know the difference in Chicago.
Now I normally avoid human contact as much as I can, but sometimes even I crave the soft caress of a human voice. Normally around the time something has broken or I need to call a company to ask a question about what exactly the loud beeping noise my coffee machine is making, and should I be worried about that, but when I do this I want to reach an actual human being on the phone. When I try talking about my problems to an automated system, I can’t threaten to ask for a supervisor because I just get transferred to the suicide hotline again, and they have my numbers blocked. Automated voice answering machines aren’t even in the uncanny valley are they? The closer a machine or a robot gets to real humanity the more glaring and obvious their lack of humanity becomes, I love how almost every call starts off with a warning that this call may be recorded for future customer satisfaction. You would be happy to know that they follow up on those things pretty diligently. I saw my next door neighbor being escorted out to an Ikea service van with a black bag over his head. I couldn’t see his face, but I’m willing to bet he was really satisfied…I’m sorry, I got sidetracked again. I just wish I got that kind of attention when I made phone calls to customer service hotlines.
It makes me wonder too, if once they tell you the call may be recorded and then you get put on hold again, does the recording include the elevator version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” over and over, or do they just cut that out, because it certainly isn’t leading to my customer satisfaction. Now that you’ve been listening to Ode to joy long enough that watching A Clockwork Orange will mentally repress your ability to use the phone because the options have changed since the last time you called. Even though I never called this hotline before because people care about me. “Press 1 to reach our Canine Support team.” Wait, hold on is that a support team made up of dogs or for dogs and what does that have to do with my coffee maker? Ah crap, I wasn’t listening to the recording. And of course, by the time you start listening again, “your call may be sent to the FBI for analysis, you weirdo.” And now the hotline is insulting me. “Press 3 for technical support.” Ah, that sounds like what I’m looking for, here goes. “I’m sorry, all technical support personnel are being rounded up due to suspected ties to Al-Qaeda. Please wait while a service representative memorizes the manual on your product. Please punch in the serial number of your product now.”
And now I have a broken phone as well. God, I would so get rid of my phone if people would just stop declaring me legally dead because I don’t respond to their tweets on the Twitters and such nonsense. But for those of you less socially awkward people out there, you have other options. You could take the coffee maker into the store you bought it. You’ll be greeted by a tech who would rather be doing literally anything else other than fixing your coffee machine, and likely was imagining just that while he did it. This is why your coffee machine now speaks Japanese and shoots death lasers. It also makes a mean espresso, when you can get it to understand you and while we’re on the topic, what exactly is a mean espresso anyways? Does it burn you when you try to drink it? Because that would be mean. You could also have a tech come to your place. He will breathe exclusively through his mouth and smell of burnt orange peels and rusted metal for reasons you would rather not know. He will fix your coffee machine and case the joint. Next week your big screen television will be missing and your fridge will be empty because stealing your television was hungry work. What exactly is hungry…nevermind, I’m getting sidetracked again.
You know what? I never liked coffee that much anyways. I’ll just throw out my coffee maker and buy myself something more useful. Like a cup of coffee from Starbucks. Of course, I live in Dunkin’ Donuts country which means I’ll have to find a Starbucks first. Dunkin’ Donuts are like a sprinkle covered Boston Crème virus. They pop up in every town and immediately consume all the locals to turn them into donuts. That’s how that works, right? Thanks, phone service line. Now I have to feel all fruity while ordering some drink in the Venti size. At least I get some actual human interaction out of this, though. If you can call the people who frequent Starbucks people. Now that was overly harsh, you just rub me the wrong way. Now I just need to find out whether or not their carrot cake has the kind of carbs that give you cancer.