The world is full of idiots, and someone needs to point it out to them or they will never know.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Most Pointless Business Ever

So, for reasons out of my control, I had to call a human being the other day. It was a guy I'd only met once before, and I wasn't even sure I had the correct number - but it was an important phone call. I needed to speak to Frank pretty urgently. Anyway, here's what happened:

 (Phone rings)

OTHER PERSON: Hello, Jill speaking, can I take a message?

ME: (slightly thrown off) Uh... is Frank available?

OTHER PERSON: This is a messaging service, can I take a message?

ME: (still confused) But this is Frank's number, right?

OTHER PERSON: I don't know, this is a messaging service. I can confirm that this number belongs to (reads off the number I'd just typed into my phone, as if I'm an idiot who can't dial correctly). Can I take a message?

ME: Well, are you able to tell me whether he'll get back to me this afternoon? I kinda need to speak to him.

OTHER PERSON: (getting annoyed) I don't know, this is a messaging service. Can I take a message?

ME: (getting equally annoyed) But what's the point in a human answering the phone, then? I don't want to belittle your job, but it seems to me a machine could do your job just as efficiently. I'd even argue it would be more efficient, considering a recorded message could at least confirm I'd called Frank.

OTHER PERSON:...

ME: Fine, get him to call me on this number...

 

I mean, Christ, I know there's a lot of pointless businesses out there, but this takes the cake. Unless you're physically incapable of answering the phone (i.e. disabled), what possible use could anyone have for a human answering machine? Surely once the answering machine was invented it made this entire industry obsolete? I realise some people are desperate for work, but how do you even explain a job like that to your friends?

© 2013 by The Free Man