Carl, the Computer Voice

Carl was a guy I met on the phone this week. Although we didn’t get to know each other well–he did most of the talking and I didn’t get to ask him much.

We started talking on Friday the 29th when I needed to find out if my phone was hooked up. At first he seemed very helpful — found out what state I was calling from, asked for my phone number and understood most of my responses. At the end of our one-sided conversation, he informed me that my phone was connected. After checking every phone jack I could find in my house, I realized that Carl had lied to me.

I decided to try to go over Carl’s head to Hilda the human voice and she also said my phone was connected as well.

“But, I think I tried every jack in the house and none of them work. All I get is silence — which is normally quite soothing, but not in this case.”

“You think you tried every jack in the house or you know you tried every jack in the house”, said Hilda.

“I know I tried every jack that I could find in the house.”

“Well, you need to call your landlord because according to my computer the technician had a dial tone, and your landlord must provide you with at least one working jack.”

“What will my landlord do, he can’t make the phone work.”

“You must call your landlord, the phone is hooked-up and he will need to pay for re-wiring. ”

I called my landlord and on Tuesday the 3rd, he came to the house and checked the main phone interface. The phone line didn’t work. He said that I should do what I needed to do to get it fixed and of course he would pay for it — but he knew the phone company had messed up.

I called Carl again. After hearing his speech again (didn’t he remember he told me all that last time) he finally let me talk to Harry the Human. Harry the Human was very friendly and told me that a technician would be coming around on Thursday the 5th. At first I was a bit frustrated that I had to wait until Thursday, and then I remembered that Wednesday was the 4th and the technician should be allowed to eat his red, white and blue jello mold with his family.

Thursday the 5th came and I decided I need to make sure the technician was still coming. I talked to Carl again and tried to go over his head by hitting “0” repeatedly. Apparently I got him very upset and he disconnected me. I called again and told him I was very upset with how he was treating me and didn’t want to hear the same speach over and over again! Didn’t he know me?

I said “You’re an idiot!”

Carl said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that.”

“I want my internet to work, you’re an idiot!”

“I’m sorry I didn’t get that.”

“Of course you didn’t get that because you’re an idiot!”

“I’m sorry I didn’t get that.”

Finally, after playing it Carl’s way I got connected with Hilda the Human II.  Hilda II, told me that a technician was still scheduled and would be coming. She then confirmed my cell phone number with me–only it wasn’t my cell phone number. I was worried the technician was calling someone else and going to their house. Hilda II assured me that he hadn’t gone to my house yet and would be there before 7 pm.

Thursday at 5:30pm I gave my buddy Carl a ring. I was in no mood to fight with him so I waited while he went through his number and was finally connected with Harry the Human II. Harry broke the news that there was a major outtage in our area and the repairs would be completed by Saturday. I explained that my phone never worked so how did they know if I was part of the outtage. He gave me some explanation about numbers and cables and phone lines and people eating kiwis in New Zealand. Basically he was determined to make sure I had no idea what he was talking about so that I would stop bugging him.

I asked him when the outtage happened–so that I could figure out if it indeed had anything to do with my phone predicament. He went on again about cables and numbers and the color of water.

“So, basically, I just have to wait for Saturday. ”


“Okay, thanks.”

“Okay, and thank you for calling AT&T and have a very nice day!”

Friday, I received a knock on the door and saw the AT&T truck parked in front of my house. I opened the door and greated Tom the Technician with a huge smile. Tom told me that my phone wasn’t working because he could see that the phone line was down. Tom fixed my phone line. Tom connected my phone and internet. Tom made sure it was working before he left. Tom is invited for dinner next week.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brent
    Jul 07, 2007 @ 09:41:20

    Your real problem started with the technician eating jello.

    Everything just spiraled into chaos after that.

    Congradulations on surviving your move.

  2. chocolatechic
    Jul 07, 2007 @ 11:00:07

    All hail Tom the technician.

    Glad to see you back.

  3. heatherinmadrid
    Jul 07, 2007 @ 12:12:01

    Hooray for Tom! We love you Tom! What are you making for dinner, maybe I’ll come!

    Love ya.

  4. Kara
    Jul 09, 2007 @ 02:54:56

    That’s the way companies design their customer service these days. It’s a strategy of dispair. They keep redirecting you or ignoring you or hanging up on you until you give up and live with the thing that’s broken. Good for you for keeping at it. AND letting Carl know he’s an idiot (he did understand you, even if he wouldn’t admit it. Perhaps he will change his ways…)

  5. rjlight
    Jul 09, 2007 @ 12:43:46

    Brent — You are so right. You know everything should be blamed on the jello mold.

    chocolatechic — thanks, glad to be back!

    heatherinmadrid–I’m making telephone technician food.

    Kara — the service is gone — it’s just customer annoyance now.

  6. Luisa
    Jul 14, 2007 @ 03:33:09

    I hope you make Tom a jello mold; that way he’ll know you appreciate his efforts.

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