GIZMOS AND LESS COMMUNICATION
our wireless society hurtled into
the new millennium, communication
during business hours is getting
more difficult and frustrating to
deal with. Are we really progressing-or
regressing in the delicate art of
for instance voice-mail. We hate
it as much as we hate the GST yet
we have learned to live with it.
Real receptionists don't exist anymore-one
is routed through a variety of taped
options to listen to pre-recorded
information that invariably doesn't
answer your question. Thank goodness
for dialing "0" and bypassing
most of these electronic menus to
sometimes reach a real voice. And
what about the voice-mail messages
you leave that never get answered?
called a bank for a client, looking
up their number in the phone book.
No such luck. There was one central
number, and of course was put on
hold until "a customer service
representative was available".
Eventually I was informed that the
person I was seeking wasn't listed
at that bank. "Give me the
number anyway please," I asked.
"Why do you want it?"
queried the young man at the other
end. I thought to myself that it
was none of his business, but told
him so that I could elicit the number.
I called the bank, guess what? A
taped message informed me that I
should leave a message and the person
concerned would get back to me within
two hours. Now that's what I call
service! This whole process took
about twenty minutes. I am not at
all impressed with this bank's method
of service and dearly hope that
others don't follow suit.
what about those wonderful phone
calls from the electronic salesperson?
"Hi there, this will just take
a minute....." Even worse is
if the message goes to your voice-mail,
you have to listen to the drivel
before you can erase it. This is
a form of electronic blackmail because
you don't have the option of hanging
up if you want to erase the message.
not forget the unsolicited junk-mail
faxes that waste reams of fax paper.
Even worse are the spam e-mails.
Invariable, they offer the opportunity
of making a zillion dollars with
no experience necessary. When you
reply with "remove" in
the topic line, usually they return
as undeliverable. Do your clients
a favour and don't send unsolicited
junk e-mail-all it's doing is clogging
up the cyberspace system and wasting
the recipient's valuable time.