Arts and CultureDIY

How to Avoid Those Annoying Automated Phone Messages

If you know your extension, please dial SHUT THE FUCK UP!

If you know your extension, please dial SHUT THE FUCK UP!

There is very little I hate more than a phone tree (aka that automated bullshit when you call just about any company). Cold, mechanical, inefficient and infuriating; it’s altogether worse than say'being in line at the Post Office (where you can at least make faces at the screaming kids).

Most phone trees just circle you around with ridiculous options that don’t meet your needs or answer your questions, make it impossible to find an actual person who can help you, hang up on you, or put you on hold endlessly all while being forced to listen to the lyric-less, ez-core versions of your least favorite pop hits. And if you get disconnected you get to repeat the horrible process all over again, if you haven’t already thrown your phone off the nearest bridge in frustration.

However, you can often get to a real, live human if you know what I like to call: the Secret Code of Buttons. If you visit Get Human you can find out what to press to get you to a breathing person fastest for dozens of major numbers from American Airlines and AT&T to eBay and the USPS. This is especially helpful if you’re a bloke with an accent (like my Aussie pal Danny) and find yourself screaming “representative” at the top of your voice only to get funneled back to the beginning of the tree. Now, it doesn’t work EVERY time, but even if it works a handful of ’em it’s worth never having to hear “Si continuar en espanol, marke nueve” ever again.

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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.