Phone a Friend (Now!)

Aug 12, 2013 | Science/Skepticism/Technology | 2 comments

- Phone a Friend (Now!)
(Please be prepared for a little whinging in this post. With any luck we’ll end up commiserating.)
As a yogi, I try to maintain a state of equilibrium. One of the places where my inner calm is severely tested is when I phone a business and encounter a voice recording and have to make a selection from a menu. Whereas, in my ancestors’ past, the flight/fight reflex was provoked by real life danger, now all it takes for me to start to getting stressed is a choice of what number to press on my keypad. Oh, and the lack of a human who answers my phone call.
The issue today was a bank transfer that I made three weeks ago of funds from my Taree branch to my sister’s branch in the U.S. The money has still not shown up, although it left here the same day it came out of my account. I spent perhaps an hour today trying to figure out what happened, and part of my activity was negotiating the labyrinth of answering machines, menus, and people at call centres. My bank’s fee was $32 for handling this telegraphic transfer, but now they will want an additional $25 for a ‘trace request’ to see where the money went.
I’ve decided to take on a cause, and you can join me in it if you like. Perhaps my plan will bring back the use of our phones to actually connect people.
Remember when you used to ring up people just to have a chat. That doesn’t happen much anymore. We send emails, post on Facebook, tweet, text each other, send newsletters, blog(!), and leave messages on answering machines, thinking that will be enough.
Here’s the challenge: each day call a friend or family member. They’ll probably be surprised, but pleased. I’m going to give this a go, and maybe we’ll report back to each other by phone. I’d like that. (Skype is good, too.)


  1. Hi Eve, just got to your blog for some inspiration and, surprise, I might be able to help. Not with calling a friend which I totally agree with and often do, on Skype of course. But rather with the frustration to work through a phone djungle. I often succeed in getting to a person by either not pressing any number at all, or by pressing 0. That often gets one to a service or switch board PERSON and one can explain the less obvious issue that does not fit into categories provided.
    Hope you are well and coping with winter, whilst we for once have a decent summer. I rediscovered my love for long swims in calm cold clear mountain lakes, sadly this pleasure does not last long. L&K Christine

    • That’s great, Christine. I’ll take on board your suggestions. One thing I’ve learned to control is ‘dumping’ on the poor person who I do get a hold of on the phone. They are just doing their job. It’s a crazy world, though, where more and more machines talk at us and fewer people talk to each other. xo Eve


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