The phone can be a source of great irritation to me. What drives me up a wall –high up a wall- is making business calls. It sounds so nice that you can do your commercial dealings by phone. Why, you are just a phone call away, so they say. What they really mean is that you are maybe 20 to 30 phone calls away...away from sanity (if you are lucky)! Irritation number 1, that gets me riled up, is “the recorded message.” They give you about seven or eight choices and somehow my particular problem never seems to fall into any of those parameters. So I listen to the list again and again, trying to figure out which one to choose (I have a sneaking suspicion they probably all go the same operator anyway). Number 2 upset, is when a computer recording asks you to impart your numbers to them. You verbalize them, but it seems they never understand what you’re saying. They keep reiterating in that nice, sweet voice, “I don’t understand, can you repeat it”? I cannot tell you how many times I have kept going over the same multi-digit numbers. That brings me to number 3, God help you, if you don’t understand what they are saying. The operators I get seem to get a tad testy, if you ask them to repeat something. Somehow this must throw them off track...I would like to throw some of them off the tracks myself. But I can’t...I’m on the phone! Number 4 complaint, is when they promise to send you a letter or an e-mail. They sound so helpful, concerned and efficient while assuring you that such information will be sent. But wouldn’t you know, I never get it! I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me. Where is the breakdown? We will never know because it’s out there somewhere…in phone space. My secret fear is that they are trained to do nothing until customers have phoned at least 4-5 times. One lesson that I have learned, is the importance of asking for their supervisor. This is usually what gets the ball rolling. The supervisor is an enlightened individual who always know what is happening. God bless, the supervisor. One of my more interesting calls was really, a non-call. I called my bank and got a recorded message, “Great, another long wait on hold,” I thought to myself. However, as I listened to that very low, sultry voice, I realized she was asking me if I wanted to have a little fun today. She assured me that she could see to it that I had a pleasurable time. I know a sexual proposition when I hear one. Yes, porn sites have very interesting recordings. I was amused at the offer and it did add a bit of spice to my day. As I hung up, I realized I didn’t know which number I had “mis” dialed, just in case I wanted a bit of excitement some later date. Here is my advice when you are calling for business purposes that may help you reduce your frustrations: drink one glass of wine (or maybe two, or three…or more) before you make that call. If the call does not run smoothly, feel free to get in touch with me. Of course, you will have to use your cell phone since you are on hold on your landline. If you are not too loaded, feel free to punch in my number, I’ll be waiting for your call.