Monday, November 7, 2016

Pet Peeve

Happens several times a week.

Someone will leave a long, rambling, sixty-second voicemail on my phone at work. Sixty seconds may not seem like a long time, but if you have to listen to the message three, four, maybe five times, it can seem interminable. It is interminable. I’ve memorized messages this way many times.

But why am I listening to long, rambling, interminable voicemail messages three, four, and sometimes five times? Because I have to. And I have to because at the tail end of the message the person will inevitably leaves his or her phone number as speedily as possible. Often blurring one mumbly number into the next.

Hi … uh, Hopper? … This is, uh, Gurn Blanston, and, uh … not sure … if you can help me … but … uh, hmm, uh, I need to know, uh, my year-to-date … uh … for … ah … this year, but, uh, I can’t, uh, … log in to the system. Uh … so I’m not sure if you can help me … again, this is Gurn Blanston, and, ah, hmm, uh, I need, uh … my year-to-date earnings … uh … for this year … uh, not sure you can help me, but, can’t log in … to the system, uh, hmm, mm, if you could give me a call that’d, uh, be great … … thenumbericanbereachedatis5552047963 … thanks, and, uh, hope to speak … with you … soon.

It never fails. It also happens frequently when you pay a bill over the phone. The stupid robot you’re speaking with talks at a snail’s pace, until you get to the confirmation number. Then it switches to a second robot who derives perverse pleasure from reciting your number, each digit in different pitches, keys, modulations and tones, as quickly as possible.

Does this ever happen to you? One time, calling a person back and getting his voicemail, I tried the same speed-up trick, but I only felt like a jerk, so I don’t do it. But it’s a pet peeve that I face two or three times a week that I am at wit’s end to overcome.

This ends today’s Pet Peeve Gripe Session.

Oh – wait! Super quick Pet Peeve Number Two: remember up there in paragraph three where I wrote “inevitably leaves his or her phone number”? Well, it seems more and more people and entities are using the plural “their” as a singular gender-neutral stand in: “inevitably leaves their phone number.” WRONG! This is highly offensive and annoying to wordphiles like me, though YMMV as they say. It’s also confusing, as my tax text book – normally confusing on its own, considering the subject – uses this new-fangled and just-plain-wrong convention throughout.

And now the Pet Peeve Gripe Session ends.

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