Thursday, November 29, 2007

A most sympathetic phone call

Helen's Social Security card arrived in the mail last week with the wrong last name. I called SSA to sort this out today, and was greeted by a very sympathetic computer.
I called while Helen was crying after eating. Here's how our conversation went.
"Please tell me your problem."
"My daughter's SS card arrived with the wrong name on it and I would like to get that fixed."
"OK. You need to fill out form X in order to change the name on a person's Social Security card. We would be happy to send that form to you. Please provide the information I ask for. Please tell me your address"
"40 [Helen screaming]"
"I'm sorry"
And I thought, it's annoying, but I didn't expect your sympathy. Helen then screamed again and the computer apologized again.
"I'm sorry"
And now I'm thinking, wow, most humans don't understand how annoying it is to have to fill out paperwork that is the result of someone else's error. But this computer is all over understanding how annoying it is. I should buy this computer a drink if I ever see it on the street.
And again, I heard the computer apologize
"I"m sorry"
And now I was thinking, oh, you must be apologizing that I have to listen to this screaming. And I felt compelled to tell the computer:
"Don't worry, it's really not that bad. She only screams right after eating because she has some tummy troubles." Because I figured, hey, computer, you're practically the only adult I've spoken to all day, so if you want to just sit there and tell me how sorry you are, I'll keep right on listening. But you may as well know the truth.
And again, the computer said:
"I'm sorry"
And the computer's apologizing kept right on going, until finally it was able to spit out "I'm sorry, I did not understand your response." Apparently, every time Helen made a sound, the computer thought I had answered its question, but of course, it wasn't expecting a scream.

The computer then offered to transfer me to a person, but I figured perhaps this transaction was meant for the internet.

And, just in case you are of the opinion that 7 week old babies don't do much, check this out!

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