Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How'd you know that?

I'd heard of those robotic voices that consumers are required to answer back to while attempting to reach a representative at companies that refuse to pay REAL people to man the phone lines. But until today I'd never been subjected to the bizarre feeling that accompanies talking to a perky voice that you know isn't connected to a living, breathing human.

I was forced into chatting it up with the fake woman this morning while trying to reach Sears about my new exercise bike that quit on me last night near the end of a rather high-octane workout (fueled by the fact that I've gained 3 pounds in a little over a week).

After doing everything I could to talk to a real person at the Sears store I had actually purchased my bike at, I finally relented and called the dreaded 1-800 number. After a grueling 6 ot 7 minutes of being careful to properly pronounce words (minus my Southern accent) like "warranty," "exercise bike" and "correct," I was on my way to an operator who just happened to know everything about me.

It was creepy enough talking to this mystery "woman" - but once I finally made my way down the pipeline to the operator, she knew my name, my address, the date of purchase, my credit card information and the type of bike I was calling about. All that without me telling her or the perky robot voice any of that.

I have no idea how all my information was right there in front of this operator, but it's scary. Between perky robotic voices and an abundance of my information at others' fingertips, I'm not so sure I'm liking this information age stuff. I'm frightened to think what could be next.