Monday, October 02, 2006


Sometimes when I send an e-mail the e-mail gets kicked back because it couldn’t be delivered for some reason. Every time this happens I crack up. Because this is the e-mail that I receive:

“Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.”

Seriously what is it with computers trying to act like they are people, with feelings and genuine emotion? Who is designing them to do this? And why? Do I need to feel like my e-mail is “sorry it didn’t work out”? I’m thinking no. I think I’d be perfectly okay with my e-mail if it just sent me a boring e-mail saying “Your e-mail to so and such didn’t go through.” I don’t really need to think that my e-mail has such an investment in my e-mail delivery that it feels like it’s “given up” when an e-mail doesn’t make it to its intended recipient.

This e-mail emotion thing is exactly like the automatic, voice-operated lady at AT&T, “Hmmm. I’m sorry, I didn’t get that.” She actually SAYS, “Hmmm.” Whyyyyy???? She isn’t thinking, she isn’t confused or frustrated, she’s a COMPUTER. A computer who is making me very confused and frustrated and is making my slam my phone against the wall, which in turn makes a sound that confuses in frustrates automated lady.

And do you know that automated lady is for sale to whoever wants her? I called another number the other day and got the Annoying AT&T lady and I about just threw my phone out the window as a result, just because I knew that any conversation between the two us always ends up in both of not knowing what the hell is going on.

And speaking of extremely helpful help lines: I’ve yet to receive a SMUD bill. SMUD is one of the electricity companies here. It’s one that I’ve paid a great deal to over the years. Maybe all those payments made SMUD a big fan of me and that is why they haven’t billed me yet in my new place. They are so sweet, that SMUD.

I tried to set up a SMUD account about 5 times, 4 of which came before I moved in. Each one of those 4 times I was told that my condo didn’t exist in SMUD’s computers. The 5th time I called I was actually living in the condo. When Help Lady asked me if perhaps I had the wrong unit number I replied, “I’m living in the unit, there is a number on the door. I’m pretty sure it’s the right address.” Then the nice Help Lady said that she would send someone out to manually switch my account, or something. I said, “This is the 5th time I’ve called, how do I know this is actually going to happen this time?” Help Lady said, “BECAUSE, I’m telling you it’s going to happen.” To which I said, “Alrighty then.”

A month later I still don’t have a SMUD account. I do have electricity though - so I imagine someone is getting a bill somewhere. People have been telling me I really need to call to check out the situation, because with my luck I’ll probably end up getting a lump bill for $50,754 when they finally figure the whole thing out.

The sad part is that I hate help lines so much that I’m willing to pay a huge lump bill, just to not have to deal with both automated and real Help Ladies. And frankly I just don’t think my phone, or my wall can take anymore helpful machines and people.


Chunks said...

I HATE the automated help people too! Hate them. I can say that because they are not real. It's not nice to say HATE but if it's not a real person you are hating, then it's okay.

A 50 thousand dollar power bill would be funny. Then you could call back and say "This doesn't exist!"

Sorry, I didn't get that. said...

$50, 754.00 is a small price to pay to never have to hear the annoying voice mail lady with an attitude an supposed robot-emotions. If I could do that, I surely would.