Friday, September 7, 2012

Options I'd LIKE to Hear When I Leave a Voicemail

Working at a doctor's office, I have to make those reminder calls you get the day before you are due to come in.  And I don't mind talking to people, most of our patients are very nice.  What annoys me is the Voicemail rigamarole I have to go through to leave a message when people *don't* answer their phones.

First there is 30 seconds of "hi, so and so's not here to take your message...yada yada yada."
Then there's what you can do once you record your message.  Six options for that. FINALLY, the beep, which wakes me up, because I've dozed off during that whole speech delivered in a monotone (very conducive to sleeping) computerized voice, indicates I can speak.  So I do my shhhpiel about how they have an appointment.
To the point.

More options.  I put my head on my desk at this point.  Because of course, I can listen to my message or I can press pound.  Or 1.  Or star, depending on the system. Sometimes you can hang up after your finished your leaving your message.  Or you can press another button for MORE options. Right?

Here's how I'd like it to go:
Hi. So-and-so's not here. Their name is So-and-So (it's a very popular last name).  Please leave a message. BEEEEP.

Leave your message.
Press pound.
Message sent.

Easy right?
If there have to be options, if they feel so compelled to make sure that all bases are covered or maybe they feel that's too straight forward and that the American people need options in every aspect of their lives, well they could do this instead:

Press 1 to hear the message of the last person who called.
Press 2 to change the message of the last person who called.
Press 3 to listen to Prince.
Press 4 donate to a cause.
Press 5 to hear a joke told by Ellen
Press 6 to send your message.

And each phone company can feel free to swap out the music and the comic, but really, let's all get on the same page here.  I love it when 5 phone calls in a row say "If you are done recording, press #.  To send your message with normal delivery, press 1," (I could recite this in my sleep) and then the next phone call, you rapidly hit #, 1 and you get "You have pressed an invalid number.  Please try again," which just equates to more time on the phone while I listen to the options.  My favorite ever?  I pressed # 1 and got, "You have erased your message.  To re-record, please press #..."  REALLY?!  Wouldn't you choose something other than the most commonly used buttons to process a message so someone doesn't *accidentally* erase their message?? GAH!

Sometimes, I envision all the phone companies sitting around and saying,
Ok, so we'll use 1 for sending, but you guys use # and you guys use the one-two combo of # AND 1 to send.
Right and then we'll actually use 1 to erase, you know, to minimize confusion, and 9 to save....


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Children's Book Review: Arlo Needs Glasses

Arlo Needs Glasses by Barney Saltzberg
is the most ingenious kids’ book I have seen in a long time!
Super cute, it has interactive pages.  And not only do I love it, my kids adore it!  They are now 2 ½, just shy of 6 and 8 years old.  They were squashed on the couch with me, little hands dipping and diving and smacking at each other to try out what was going on, on each page.  And there’s a lot going on! 
The story is about a boy whose dog suddenly has a hard time playing his favorite game: catch.  After several experiments (and trying to show Arlo how to do it), he decides Arlo must need glasses.  He takes him for a check-up.  Arlo goes through all the eye tests, he tries on glasses, selects a pair and finally, he can see again!  Going through this story, you will use tabs that when pulled, cause some pretty neat sliding/special effects to go on.  There are Velcro pieces, pop-up pieces, and glasses that can be tried on a cardboard Arlo.  And these are not flimsy pieces, but very nice sturdy, cardboard glasses with a gloss coating.  I was impressed.  And maybe making little shrieking with glee noises the first time I read it.  I had to hide it from my 2 year old so she didn’t destroy it.  She’s a little rougher than I am.  So maybe not for kids under 3, but generally (I know, not always) but generally, kids under the age of 3 are not getting glasses anyway.  None of my kids need glasses (yet), but they were still intrigued with the story.  My 8 year old has had eye problems in the past though, and has been to an eye doctor, so it was interesting to see him answering his younger brother’s questions when my middle son wanted to know what was going on at the eye doctor’s in the story.
This book has me looking at the author’s other works.  I’m adding them to my kids’ wish lists on Amazon.....

Great read!  Great for all ages, whether they’ve been to the eye doctor’s or not as it’s not just about that, but about reading, a boy and his dog and  problem solving. 
5 stars.  

Disclosure: This book was sent to me, unsolicited, for review, for free.   


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