Lesson #1: Swear at automated phone thingies

Well, this is interesting.

I have high-speed ADSL from telus (telus.net). It only allows me to have two machines registered at any given time – they check for your machine’s MAC address when you connect to the internet.

That’s OK, I only have two machines I want connected, anyway. And if I want more, I’ll just use a router and hide all the IP addresses that are connecting.

But I got a new laptop at work about a month ago – and my two addresses were both taken up by my home computer and my old laptop. So I had to go through the pain of killing the old MAC address and adding the new one. And of course Telus’ server for doing that is finicky in the extreme. So I called tech support.

And got my first taste of the automated intelligent voice-recognition systems we’ve been hearing about in press releases for years.

It actually recognized my words/sentences a couple of times, and I started to be impressed. Then it started going on a wierd tangent and I was less impressed. It started to tell me that it was going to tell me a lot of information, so I should get out a pen or pencil, and I was even less impressed.

So I said, “Get me a real person, please.”

It kept on going without a hitch. Finally I got a little infuriated, and, I must confess, swore at the machine with the beautiful feminine voice: “Get me a *&^%*($$# real person!”

Amazingly enough, it INSTANTLY put me in a queue for a real person. Wow!

Now, I really wonder if there’s enough intelligence in the system to quickly route irate clients to a real human. I suspect there is. And I have to give a respectful nod to the developers behind the system.