This is a more or less slightly exagerrated recall of five or six phone calls to Delta I have made this week trying to change our return flight. I dial 1-800-221-1212. RIIINNNNNNG
Computer: Hi. Welcome to Delta, KLM and Air France. Are you a Sky Miles Member?
Computer: I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you. Let’s try again. Are you a Sky Miles Member?
Computer: Mmmm. I didn’t understand. Say Yes or No.
YESSSSSSSS! (Deep voice)
Computer: Let’s try again. I’m having trouble hearing you.
Okay, I think, do a falsetto. “YES.” Sounds like Franki Valli
Computer: All right. From here you can say, “Check my skymiles points, search for flights, hear uninteresting information about our hidden cost offers, or be directed back to the original menu, or speak with a representative?
Well, I never like to talk to danged computers. “Speak with a representative.”
Computer: I’m sorry. Did you say ‘speak with a representative?’
Computer: What? I can’t hear you.
Yes, Yes, YES YESSSSSS! (Granddaughter begins crying in the back seat.)
Computer: No need to raise your voice. Oh, behave
What did you say?
Computer: I said behave. You have no idea how many useless wrong turns there are on this tree. I can transfer you to purgatory anytime.
I can’t believe this. Put me through to a live human.
Computer: All right. But first I need a bit more information, Okay? Is this in regards to an existing reservation, a new reservation, a restaurant reservation, an Indian reservation, or moral reservations?
Computer: Just pullin’ your chain. Calm down. Existing reservation?
Computer: I’m sorry, I couldn’t make that out.
EXISTING! EXISTING! EXISTING!
Computer: All right, I think you said, ‘Existing.’ Do you know your Skymiles number? Say it now or say, “I don’t have it with me.”
I’m driving down the road, so I’m sitting on my wallet where it is.
Computer: I’m sorry, what was that?
No, NO, I don’t have it, I don’t have it. I HATE you! Do you hear me? I HATE YOU, computer!
Computer: Okay. I’ll put you through to a representative. Hold on.
BEEP. connection lost.
This is only part of the story. I could tell you how the lady at the kiosk helped me try to find an earlier flight and end up with my wife going to Minneapolis and me to Salt Lake, but that’s another story. I am writing a letter about that womancomputer. She is evil.
Worth thinking about: “Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.” Jacques Ellul.
Maybe some parts of life still deserve human beings speaking to one another…After a host of screwups, one helpful Delta ticket agent behind the counter in Portland straightened out our messed up itinerary.