A few days ago, I got this phone call:

[Ring Ring]

Zern: Hello, Zern Speaking … Hello… Hello???
Caller: [click] He-Lo. This-Is-An-Im-Portant-Mess-Age. Please-Hold. [whirl]
Zern: [Realisation: It's an f**ing machine! Ringing me to put me on hold!]
Caller: [Suicide-inducing music]

[A couple of minutes or so passes.]

Caller (human): Hello. Can I speak to Mr or Mrs Williamson please?
Zern: Who are you?
Caller: Are you Mr Williamson?
Zern: Who are you?
Caller: Is Mr Williamson there please?
Zern: WHO are you? And what is this about?
Caller: Oh, I am calling from [name of large power company deleted] ... blah blah ...

Thank heavens there was no mention of “we care about customer service” on their website! They do however care about providing CHEAP electricity. I guess using a machine to make these calls will save them money. Yet another great spreadsheet-spawned idea no doubt.

(Free “innovative” marketing idea: How about using the same machine to SELL? This surely has got to be cheaper than even Indian callcentre workers?!)