Dear Centre Link,
I just wanted to have a brief word about your phone system.
I think it’s…..
Well flawed is a nice way of putting it.
It’s not so much the amount of time it takes that is frustrating (though it is), or even the fact that I spend the majority of the time listening to contradictory instructions, as it is the impatience of your automatic voice service.
Now, I like those things usually. If it means I don’t have to wait until an operator becomes available, I am willing and very happy to speak clearly at the appropriate intervals.
The problem is, I have children.
Four of them.
And like most children, as soon as I am on the phone, they feel the need to talk to me.
It doesn’t matter how well I try to occupy them with something else, as soon as they know I’m busy on the phone, they suddenly have much they need to tell me.
Or they are starving.
Or their bottom needs wiping.
Or someone has hit someone else over the head with a truck, and all hell has broken loose.
You get the idea.
This always happens right after you have asked me for some vital information. And whilst I am busy trying to relay said information to you, and ignore the carnage in the lounge room, it’s never my clearly spoken words you hear, but rather the screams of my dirty/injured/hungry offspring.
Or the times when you do hear me, it is when I have whispered, with my hand over the speaker, ‘just wait a minute, mummy is on the phone.’
Why is it, that when I talk loudly and distinctly you don’t hear, but when I whisper at a time when you haven’t even asked me a question, you respond with, ‘I’m sorry, I’m having trouble understanding you. Can you please repeat that?’
And then, when I do repeat the vital information, it is drowned out by yet another scream from one of the
And then, of course, you give up completely and I am left waiting for an operator, while the kids are completely silent the entire time the elevator music plays.
It’s like Murphy’s Law come to play.
Seeing as you’re the home of the family assistance office, I have some automated suggestions for you for such situations.
‘I’m sorry, it appears you have children in the background, I’ll wait whilst you answer their question.’
“I didn’t quite hear that. Would you like me to play elevator music for thirty seconds to trick your children into thinking you’re on hold?”
And my personal favourite:
“It sounds like you’re having a hard time. I’ll just make a note on your file that automatically qualifies you for the highest payment amount, irrespective of income, and also arrange for a masseuse and a nanny with a bottle of wine and chocolates to be at your house within the next half an hour.’
So what do you think Centre Link?