I can't believe how bad it's getting. The number of prompts that a typical phone call requires from these automated answering devices is now astronomical. You need a half an hour and a course in memory enhancement to navigate it all. I'm sure you've all experienced this in just trying to reach an agent for help with some problem you're having with their product.
Let me show you how a call I made the other day went:
"Welcome, thank you for calling the White House. This call may be monitored for purposes of quality control and/or retribution. Main menu: For Spanish press 1, for French press 2, for German press 3, for Russian press 4, for Chinese press 5, for Japanese press 6, for Farsi press 7, for Kenyan press 8, for English press 9. Press 0 if all of these languages are Greek to you."
So I pressed 9. "If you are calling because you are dissatisfied with the Obamacare plan, press 1 (caution: the hold time for this selection is 427 days). If you are calling because you are upset with the stimulus plan, press 2 (wait time 317 days). If you are calling because you disagree with the administration's immigration policies, press 3 (wait time 235 days). If you are calling for any other reason, press 4 and you will be transferred immediately."
So I pressed 4. "If you are calling to donate money to President Obama's reelection campaign, press 1. If you are calling to volunteer for his election campaign staff, press 2. If you are calling to set up a fund-raising dinner, press 3. If you are not calling to donate, volunteer or fund-raise, press 4."
So I pressed 4. "If you are a foreign dignitary looking for an apology, press 1. If you would like to rent the Lincoln bedroom for a night, press 2. If you are an expert at creating authentic looking documents, such as birth certificates, by all means, press 3. If you are a conservative, we're sorry but the President is on vacation again, please press 4 to return to the main menu or press 5 to be transferred to Nancy Pelosi.
I gave up.