There are many murphy law’s of parenting. One of them is that children and speech recognition phone calls do not mix. I think it’s Law #135.
You know the ones I’m talking about. When you call some company, ie bank, cable, credit card, insurance…, and you don’t talk with a person, you have to skillfully navigate through a series of menus attempting to find your desired destination. This is tricky enough for your average person, let alone someone with kids. It wasn’t too bad, however, until lots of companies switched from number dialing to voice recognition. So instead of pressing one for English, you just say “English”. This can be difficult for someone who has an accent, such as myself, but it’s usually doable. It is nearly impossible to do with children.
It is best that these phone calls are made when your children are napping, away, asleep for the evening, outside…just some place other than where you are. Unfortunately, most of these phone calls needs to be made from 9-5, when most kids are awake, and if your life sucks and don’t have nappers anymore, like me, then you are screwed.
I have been trying to get a hold of one of our insurance companies about some cards that haven’t arrived ALL week. The wait times were unbelievable so finally, long story short, my husband got me an alternate number that should’ve taken me to the correct person faster. Even though I knew it would be a challenge to try and call them with all the kids home, I needed to do it.
I am in the kitchen and the kids are in the other room playing so I dial the number.
“Hello, thank you are calling blah blah blah. If you would like to continue this call in English, say English.”
I open my mouth to say “English” but Jacob runs into the living room yelling “I’m Spiderman!!!”
“I’m sorry. I don’t recognize your entry. If you would like this call to continue in English, say English.”
Oh lord. “English!” I say loudly. I run into the other room, cover my phone, and tell the kids to zip it! I need to make a call!
I run back into the kitchen. The menu starts to give me options. Before the option I need is said, Hannah and Abby run by laughing or whatever. Loudly. “I’m sorry, that is an invalid option. Please listen to the menu and make your selection.” F*ck!
Now I start the moms-on-the-phone dance.
I close the door, and FINALLY hear my option. I get to my desired destination and have to “say” some verifying information. Abby busts in crying about Jake not loving her.
“I’m on the phone!” I yell.
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you are trying to enter. Please re-enter your information now.”
For the love of Christ.
Jake busts in, I just push him out and lock the door.
“Thank you, please hold.”
HOORAYYY!! I made it!!!
“Our offices are currently closed.”