Post 1081: …in which the numeric keypad disappears between recitation of the options

There is a convenience involved in those automated systems where you punch this or that sequence of keys to complete your walk through doing business with a governmental agency or business when they are closed. There also is a hell on earth if you are doing it on a “smart” phone with a keypad that disappears between questions and you can’t figure out how to bring it up again!

I ordered two prescriptions today using my new “smart” phone. I’m afraid I lost a lot of patience in the process. I’m afraid I said some very colorful words. I’m afraid I came close to tossing the “smart” phone against the wall, then I barely came to my senses,  realized it is very expensive to lose one’s temper that way….

Eventually (I think) I got an option to leave my voice message. So I read the information off the pill bottles and hope I left sufficient other information with them to get my prescriptions.

Poor Dougy! He thought i was yelling at him. Poor kitty.

Poor Dougy! He thought I was yelling at him. Poor kitty.

I guess the brilliant bunnies who create these “smart” phones are too young to have to deal with needing a locked-on keypad to deal with ordering pills or contacting the Department of Human Resources to wade through their automated systems to get to the service option you need…after you select English over Spanish, to hear what those options are! In time, they will know what it’s like to lose the digital keypad and not be able to bring it back up in time to satisfy the automated voice that there is a person on the other end needing something!

Though it is fun being able to use my new phone to get the use of the phone option in my car’s infotainment center, I really need that stupid phone, the one with the real keypad to deal with the vicissitudes of age – prescriptions, bureaucracies, insurance companies. As far as those places are concerned, automated systems are cost effective, convenient, and reduce their labor costs. They also cause seniors hell on earth unless they have a stupid phone with a real keyboard


24 thoughts on “Post 1081: …in which the numeric keypad disappears between recitation of the options

  1. i still have left to get my “smarty” pants phone and I doubt I will ever succumb until my old (close to 14 years) cell phone finally gives out. I’m too old to learn anything new that doesn’t mean my absolute life is in danger…or that interests me. ~~dru~~

    • I succumbed to the lure of the smart phone when I got that new Volkswagen with the infotainment center that had the capability of turning my car into a phone if I had the right kind of phone…! I gave up a perfectly workable and trustworthy flip phone for that reason. (Of course, I’ve whined about why I hate the new one every since! I got what I deserved, I fear!)

  2. Sorry you are having so much trouble with the new phone. I am sure I would too, but I have a simple model that doesn’t even have a camera- that is all I can handle.

  3. You’re talking to someone that will not sit-in her car and press a bunch of numbers to get money out of the credit union. Not that I don’t want this convenience, it’s because I can’t do it. I get all worked up as I’m pressing these numbers, forget my account number and password and have to look these up…meanwhile the guy behind me ‘s patience is wearing thin but I’m hurrying the best I can. Twenty minutes later. I’m sweating. the guy behind me is honking and I put everything back in the car and drive away. Now, when I’m really, REALLY bored, I could try this again meanwhile I’ll go inside and visit with the tellers.


  4. I worked in IT for a long time. I came to the cnclusion years ago that large organizations care not one whit for the customer, especially if they are government agencies, telecoms or computer cmpanies. After all, there is no competition. One government, four or five telecoms and for most people only two computer operating system.The phone trees are poorly designed, and the customer service personnel are all in call centers and no nothing more than what is one their script. I try to do everything i can be email. When I had to replace my flip phone I had t get a “smart” flat screen because they aren’t making them any more. I hate it.

    • Angela, I now know there is a name for that torment: phone tree! Thanks!

      I once spent over 50 minutes on hold listening to the same grating “music” to finally get caught up in a phone tree that took five minutes to maneuver to finally get the human I called to give information her department needed to know.

      I could have written a letter to tell them and got it to them faster. Well, I exaggerate, but I wasn’t a pleasant person by the time I survived the wait and torment of the “convenience” of this set-up.

      Actually, before that time, there was an office with a competent individual handling the matters I had with them. A Republican governor reduced the number of offices and people handling the business of the department, and service cost the state less but served the public more poorly.

      I could have driven to the office in town and completed my business in five minutes.

      I didn’t vote for that governor the next election, he didn’t win, but something worse did!

  5. There should be levels of smart phones. I take solace in the fact that some day the people who built them will have an even smarter smart phones to figure out.

  6. I understand fully what you feel . I make so many typing mistakes with a good old keyboard , I wonder what would happen with a numerical keyboard inside the device and having a capticious existence !! 🙂
    To be frank I confess I have not cell phone but two computers . My wife has one and is the Queen of the texting . Sometimes I think I will have to buy one because I see all of the people around me have one .
    Récently i was at a weddinng and when the just married went out of the church, no one was applauding …. They could not because all of them were photographing with their cell phone . Beautiful! 🙂
    Courage, Doug !
    In friendship

    • I wouldn’t have given up my flip phone if I hadn’t bought a car with the phone capability on its infotainment system. I wonder now if that was worth the update!

      That’s an incredible bit of social commentary on the wedding, Michel!

      I will conquer this new technologyh, though I hope I don’t have to do stup[id things like today when I couldn’t get the phone to answer when a friend called from out of town: I had to hurry to my car to use the phone in the car because I knew how to answer that phone!

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