Calls, Texts, and Surveys, Oh, My!

Since I returned from Florida, I seem to be getting more phone calls. I’ve figured out how to handle the robo calls, I just don’t answer and that works fairly well except that I have to delete and block them from my phone, which takes a lot of time because there are so many, and my crooked fingers inevitably hit the wrong word and I accidentally redial. I’m sure the caller is jumping for joy thinking, “Gail wants to renew her car warranty for the car she sold four years ago. Hot damn!” I find it interesting that they seem to be calling in herds now, so bingo, bingo, bingo, I get three or four at one time, sometimes on top of each other, which is funny, to have two robo callers competing for me at once but none pronounce my name correctly, usually changing some vowels around and adding a syllable, like Guy-ell.

Last Tuesday I called the doctor for a routine appointment and got it lickity-split within a week. In person, not virtual, how special is that? It was for Monday, surprisingly soon and I was happy, but an hour later, I got a text, “Don’t forget your appointment with the doc next Monday.” Okay, I added it to my phone calendar, my wall calendar, and recited it aloud four more times so it was embedded it in my brain. (Teaching school all those years taught me that kids have to hear things six times before they learn them, and I think it’s the same with me.) But, the next morning, my wake-up text came early: “Don’t forget your appointment with the doc next Monday.” They sent the same text Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and twice on Saturday and Sunday and again when I got to the doctor’s office, like I hadn’t already checked in. Nine times.

I waved at the receptionist, mouthing, “Woo-hoo, Miss, I’m here,” thinking of evil ways to retaliate, “What would happen if I called the doctor’s office nine times to confirm my appointment?” I don’t want to do that either and they might send me to a mental health provider and even worse, call my kids.

I nicely (emphasis on nicely) requested that they remove the text option next to my name. “No problem, ma’am, you won’t get any more texts from us.” I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that I had removed this annoyance and didn’t have to resort to more extreme measures.

I saw the doctor and got the go-ahead to keep doing what I do and went outside to my car. Bzzzz, bzzzz went my Apple watch. I looked at it, “Please tell us if you were satisfied with today’s visit to Dr. What’s-Her-Name.” So much for no more texts.

What’s with all these surveys that every business puts out these days? Service repairmen, hair and nail appointments, doctor and dentist visits, car repair, and even take-out restaurants if you order on-line. Some by text, some by email, some by more phone calls, so now I am curious about what would happen if I disposed of my civility and said, “Hell, no, your service sucks is horrible.” (Note the softening of my language, a good thing.) How do you know if you are going to like your haircut or nail color in a week or if your car will make it all the way to your driveway before it breaks down or if the air filter will actually clear the air until the next service call?

But in retrospect, I might be too harsh. Maybe surveys are a good thing. Maybe Wrinkly Bits should have an approval button. Let’s try: click a thumbs up for approval, heart for way cool, and the wow button if you agree there are far too many calls, texts, and surveys!

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