Monday, 24 February 2014

Bad phone skills and brain thieves

I had to speak to an automated service on the phone this morning. Well, I say speak, I did have a few choice words to say to this recording, but apparently this wasn't something that was required. What I actually wanted to do was to talk to a real life person, which I eventually managed to do, but not before being subject to one recording after another.

There were two things wrong with this particular recorded response system.

1. The length.

If you are under some kind of illusion that what I was listening to was the standard "Please hold the line and someone will be with you shortly" motif, you would be wrong. No. Every single option I picked then led me to same recorded voice with a new and highly mundane thing to talk about in the form of some kind of speech. Each speech lasted about 3 minutes in length and felt like they lasted a much longer. Also, the stuff that was being said was in no way useful to the option I had picked.

2. The voice

I have a generally high tolerance for all people, voices and accents. There are occasions where I might not understand a particular person due to volume, accent thickness etc but I generally find that I can get by. In terms of annoying voices, with the exception of Nicholas Cage (whose voice is only one of the many things about him that makes my skin crawl) I haven't really found a voice that makes me violent or generally unwell since my music teacher in Secondary school.

Today, however, I found one. Such was the cadence of her voice, and proximity of her mouth to the receiver when she had recorded what she had to say, that every word felt like someone had sharpened their finger nails, reached into the very depths of my brain and just started scratching away from the inside. No word of a lie, I had the phone held at arms length from my ear and was not only still able to hear every word, but she still managed to leave me with a full on headache once I had hung up.

Now I know what you are all thinking, with that being the case, it was clear that the intention of the automated recording was to dramatically reduce the amount of calls that lasted before they reached an actual human being. A very clever tactic that I would normally understand and accept. However, this wasn't just a sales call centre that I was trying to get through, but rather one for a GP service. Suddenly a whole world of flaws around the "just make them go away" technique this surgery had undertaken was exposed. Forcing people to run and hide, or at least put them in a pissed off mood by the time they get through is not really something a medical service should be doing.

But that is by the by. Because this isn't even the thing that I wanted to talk about today, only the lead up to the thing. My thing is all about my announcement of this woman on twitter, the conversation that was then had between myself and Internetual friend Heinakroon and the emotional mine field my brain then went into.

The conversation went as follows:

Me: Just listened to a woman's voice who sounded as if someone was scratching their nails on the inside of my brain. I now have a headache.
Heinakroon: But on the plus side: You know you have a brain
Me: It's a relief to know, I have to tell you. It's been one of my biggest queries in life. Although now it's a brain with holes...
Heinakroon: All the better for all the thoughts and ideas to move about, surely?
Me: But what if a really good thought leaks out through my ear and someone steals it to claim for their own?
Heinakroon: (Damn. I was hoping you wouldn't notice that...)
Me: I'm just going to have to say everything I think as I think it from now on... And then immediately copyright it. This is going to get pricey.
Heinakroon: You should start your own patent service company. And then lease the services to yourself. That'll make it tax deductible.
Me: See, now why didn't I think of that? Or did I? STOP STEALING MY THOUGHTS!!!

And that's when my world collapsed around me. Needless to say that Heinakroon had nothing else to say after that... clearly he was all too aware that I was onto him and his black market thought stealing business so has thus gone into hiding. Who knows how far into it he is. What if he was the one who recorded the voice first so as to cause the holes and then hovered around me, without my knowing, with a massive net for catching...

*takes a moment to check under the desk and out on the window ledge*

Okay, I can't see him anywhere, and yes he doesn't even live in the same country as me, but I'm still reserving the right to look left and right repeatedly in a suspicious nature... take that Heinakroon!

Although, if my thoughts are escaping out through my ear, I'm going to have a lot of other people to worry about as well. I mean, technically anyone within my immediate vicinity could be exposed to my particular brand of thought, which isn't good. How the hell am I supposed to know if I've had a really good idea if it falls out before I've had time to process it? What if someone comes up with a way to get world peace, cure cancer, or just earn a boat load of money, and it had always been my thought but I never knew it? ... How would I ever know?

I guess with the world peace and cancer cure thing, it really doesn't matter who comes up with it, as long as someone does and then tells people about it... although it must just feel nice to know you were the one to fix something of that scale...

Perhaps, if it ever happens, I'll just smile quietly to myself and revel in the fact that I probably was actually the one to come up with it. I might even brag about it to One-And-Only-Daniela until she starts to believe it. It's really easy to win hypothetical arguments like that... just keep on pressing on with the conversation with just two words "Prove it" until they can't anymore and then lean back, grin like a cheshire cat and say, "Then I guess we'll never really know." It's pretty much how I justify all my belief systems, and why I still eat everything in even bites for fear that my stopping this will result in the end of the world.

The one that would piss me off however, is the money one. If someone was to better their life in some way, due to the callous stealing of the only good and worthwhile thought I am capable of in my lifetime, I will get pissed. In fact, I am now suspicious of any new thought that is created from this point on. I will ban Dragon's Den (not that many good thoughts really get through on that thing). If anyone creates anything and makes money off it from today onwards, you had better believe I am taking them to court for copyright infringement. And in case you're wondering how I plan on winning these courtcases, might I refer you to the last paragraph. Seriously, with this tip you will never lose an argument again... you are welcome.

Additionally, I would like to take a moment to encourage everyone to check out Heinakroon's page, if you get a chance. As opposed to this blog, he actually talks about clever things and uses science and information to educate you in an awesome way that doesn't feel like you're being educated but rather entertained. Just click on his name and you'll see what I'm talking about... just be aware that for all future posts, if it's exceptionally awesome, he probably brain thiefed it from me.

Peace out my lovelies

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