Today started out like any normal Saturday. A trip to the markets, some delicious breakfast and then home to tackle my rather large "to do" list.
Rewinding back 14 hours, my car wouldn't start, so first thing on my to do list today was a call to the RACQ.
Like most big companies they have a phone tree. Lots of prompts where you either speak or press buttons to move to the next branch. I detest phone trees and they can make me stabby in no time.
The voice on this particular phone tree was a man. A friendly man with a "not so much voice over" voice, which was rather pleasant for a change. For this blog post we will call him EPTVOM (Mr Electronic Phone Tree Voice Over Man).
Eptvom gave sensible options to which I could respond via voice or key pad. For some strange reason I chose voice, usually I don't because it will more than likely be a whole new world of pain as they can never recognise some of my numbers.
We started off nicely, Eptvom was friendly, I answered with a simple "yes" and "no" to the first few questions. He then wanted my rego number ... I said it, with trepidation ... F (sounds like S over the phone) and P (could be P, B, D, C and so on). This was not going to go well. Unbelievably, it was recognised straight away. Eptvom's responses were warm and friendly, just like he was really talking to me.
He advised me that everything was in order and then asked what was wrong with my car. I told him. He said "we can look after that for you. A service vehicle will be with you within the hour. Please wait with your car, but only if it is safe to do so. Thank you so much for calling RACQ".
Now here is where it got weird. I started thanking him back. I wanted to tell him how nice he was to deal with. "Thank you so much you have been really helpful. I appreciate it." Only there was no one there. I was talking to a robot! A machine. My Mr Eptvom was not real. He was a phone tree. My husband was standing next to me as I was thanking the robot, then looking at my phone with a hurt look because he was gone.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"Um, well, I was thanking the RACQ man, but it was actually a phone tree so there was no one there to thank really." I said. "I feel ripped off. He was so nice, he deserved a thank you!"
Husband gave me that "look", shook his head, took the paper and went to another room.
Me, I just stared at the phone hoping Mr Eptvom was going to have a good day.
Footnote: They came within the hour and Joe the repairman was possibly the nicest man in Brisbane today, except for Mr Eptvom and my husband of course!