We have one where I work. So does my credit union, my doctor's office. And as I start to think about it, most places of business have them...

Automated phone answering systems.

And I hate them!

After I have been told from that system on the phone that I can dial my party's extension if I know it, I realize that I don't know any of those. So, let's get comfortable and listen to the options that I will have on my journey to getting to an actual living, breathing person.

And even that isn't guaranteed.

I've had instances where I sit through a rather lengthy list of options for which buttons I can press. After listening, I discover that none of those options fit my needs. So I am invited to leave a message; "somebody will get back to you".

I hate it, but I get it. It's hard to find employees these days. And automated systems work 24 hours a day and never call in sick. But I miss talking to real people when I call.

The reason I'm calling at the time is because I, the customer who is trying to spend money at your business, would like to talk to somebody, please.

It used to be called customer service. Heck, way back when, I'd get an occasional receptionist who thought that I was funny.

Not anymore. "Leave a message."

"We'll call you back when it's convenient for us."

"Deal with it."

That's why I always answer the phone in the control room at work.

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The only times I don't answer your call is because we are on the other line. Or we are on the air talking. Unlike a lot of radio and television stations, Paul and I don't prerecord any part of our show.

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