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There appears to be some conspiracy in the automated menu world. Every time I call any sort of business with an automated menu, I am told to “listen carefully, as the menu options have changed.” After hard reflection, I am calling bullshit.

We all know at this point that, as Americans, Americans who speak English, we will inevitably have to press “1” for English. That’s been a pretty stable fact of life since the turn of the century.

So what could have changed? Because I didn’t know Comcast customer service was so cutting edge that they need to continually update their menu choices. Is it really necessary to go through 15 minutes of automated menus when inevitably the person you finally reach will end up transferring you anyway? And I’m sorry lady in India, did I really ruin your day because I am having trouble with my cable and you only field questions about cable boxes?

Did your menu change because now you have a robot talking who doesn’t understand the English language? Because let me tell you: it’s not progressive and technologically savvy to implement a tool that is slower and more frustrating than MS-DOS.

And doctor’s offices? There’s only been a few options available since the advent of the telephone: if it’s an emergency hang up and call 911 (and by the way you are an idiot); press 1 for prescriptions; press 2 for appointments; press 3 for test results. Is there a magical something else that doctors do that I don’t know about? Because listening carefully certainly doesn’t reveal it.

I am fed up with automated menus and the time spent navigating them. Don’t con me into thinking the options have changed in order to assure I go through a lengthy choose-your-own-adventure. Because I have discovered the ultimate kiss off to these weapons of mass frustration, (and it is not pressing zero because you will just be told “invalid entry”).  Firmly and clearly say “representative” the moment the menu starts, and pray a robot doesn’t answer.

Pet Peeve of the Day: See above.

Quote of the Day: “Why don’t you break my heart one more time just for good luck.” –Bob Dylan

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