Diabetes Humor: Calling Technical Support
Every now and then I need to call technical support for some gizmo or other, including my blood glucose meter. In today's world, you sometimes need to budget 30 minutes for such calls.
You know the drill:
"Welcome to Vampire Blood Glucose Meters Inc., home of the leading blood glucose monitoring supplies, your best bet in a world filled with cheap imitations. If you have a rotary phone, please stay on the line. If you have a touch-tone phone, please press 1. If you have an antique crank phone, a party line, and an operator who listens to everything you say, we offer our condolences."
You press 1.
"Please listen carefully, as our menu options have changed. If you know your party's extension, you may dial it at any time. For information on our new puce-colored blood glucose meters, press 1, for . . . " followed by an array of choices that takes 5 minutes to go through, and at No. 23, you can't remember what No. 1 was, so you have to listen to them all again.
Then once you've pressed the proper number: "We're sorry, but all our operators are busy assisting other customers. Your call will be answered in the order received. Please stay on the line; your business is very important to us."
This is followed by some music that is so loud and jarring that you can't possibly accomplish anything else while you're waiting, interspersed with repetitions of the previous message, which always makes you think you've finally reached a human being at last so you start to speak and then realize it's just the recording again.
We all know these words are not only trite but garbage. Why doesn't one of the glucose meter companies start telling the truth. For example:
"Please listen carefully. Our menu options haven't changed for 20 years, but we enjoy going through the list anyway, in the hopes that you'll hang up before we reach the end of the list."
"We're sorry, but all our operators are busy buffing their nails. Your call will be answered in random order when they've run out of interesting gossip about that cute guy in the mailroom. You can stay on the line if you wish, but we warn you, the heavy metal rock we're playing today might cause permanent deafness."
"Although you were, in fact, dumb enough to buy a Vampire Blood Glucose Meter, the kind that takes an ounce of blood, your call really isn't very important to us at all, because we know your insurer will buy only strips for the Vampire meter. In fact, we'd prefer that you leave us alone. But if you insist, you can stay on the line and someone might answer your call before quitting time. Good luck."
"If you know your party's extension, you can dial it at any time. But you might as well know that your party is ‘in a meeting,' meaning he's out of the office doing something more interesting than speaking with disgruntled customers. Yesterday he spent the afternoon in the company cafeteria sampling different types of espresso. He might return your call, probably just as you're walking out the door on the way to the emergency room."
"Please stay on the line for one of our minimum-wage operators who will read you a script asking you elementary questions that you've already answered 300 times before, like ‘Did you wash your hands after you stuck your fingers in the jam jar?' or ‘Do you store your meter in the refrigerator or inside a locked car on a hot summer day?' If you want someone who really understands this meter, you might look somewhere else."
"Stay on the line or don't stay on the line. It's all the same to us. The fewer questions we have to answer, the easier our job is."
"None of our operators are helping other customers at the moment, but frankly, they're all exhausted from answering the same questions over and over again, so they're taking a little break. Have you thought about reading your instruction manual?"
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