Thursday, 04 March, 2004

An unhelpful answering machine

Unhelpful help isn't limited to computer systems.  This afternoon a coworker and I had  to call a client regarding a project.  She gave us the wrong phone number and we ended up with a particularly unhelpful answering machine.  It answered and said:

The person you called is not available.  To leave a message, please enter the number you were trying to call, followed by the pound sign.

We were somewhat surprised by that.  Anti-spam phone messaging, I guess.  Dan entered the phone number, area code and all, followed by the obligatory pound sign.  The answering system replied with:

The number you entered is not valid.  Please enter the number you called, followed by the pound sign.

Hmmm.  Maybe without the area code?  Nope.  How about the last four digits?  No dice.  We gave it a half-dozen different tries with the same result.  Finally, the phone system replied with:

I'm sorry you are having trouble.  Please get some help and try again later.

We just looked at each other and laughed.  Hard.  We even went through the whole exercise again to make sure we weren't hallucinating.  I don't have to make up funny stuff.  Life is endlessly amusing.