RING! RING! RING!
“Hello, you have reached the offices of Santa Claus at the North Pole.”
“Hi, my name is Dick Yarbrough and I would like … ”
“Thank you for calling. In order to better serve you, please listen to the following options. If you wish to place an order, please press ‘one.’ If you are calling about your current order, please press ‘two.’ If you would like to make a payment, please press ‘three.’”
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“Actually, I just want to talk to someone about my Christmas wish list. You see … ”
“If you wish to continue this conversation in English, please press ‘four.’ Si desea continuar esta conversación en español, presione ‘cinco.’ Si vous souhaitez continuer cette conversation en français, veuillez appuyer sur ‘six’”
“English is fine, thank you, but here’s what I want to ask … ”
“Wenn Sie dieses Gespräch auf Deutsch fortsetzen möchten, drücken Sie bitte ‘sieben.’ Si velis ad hanc conversationem Latine, placere premere ‘octo.’”
“Look, I don’t speak German and the only Latin I know is ‘E. Pluribus Unum.’ I want to talk to a live person about my Christmas wish list — an elf, Bing Crosby, Frosty the Snowman — I don’t care. … ”
“Your call is very important to us. Currently, all of our representatives are busy serving other customers. Please stay on the line. Your wait time is currently six hours.”
“Six hours! You’ve got to be kidding! In the past, I just called up and talked to whoever answered the phone. It looks like you have automated everything now. I’m sure it saves you money but it is very impersonal and unbecoming of Santa Claus. I would strongly suggest that you … ”
“Your call is very important to us. Currently, all of our representatives are busy serving other customers. Please stay on the line. Your wait time is currently seven hours.”
“This is ridiculous! I have a great mind to … ”
“Did you know you can place your orders and track them by going to our website? Visit www.santaclausworkshopatthenorthpole.org, backslash ‘good little boys and girls,’ forward slash ‘Ho. Ho. Ho.” Or you can find us on Twitter at ‘hash tag, dash away, dash away all.’”
“I think I’ll just forget the whole thing. All I wanted was … ”
CLICK! “Hello, my name is Vashtar. To whom am I speaking?”
“Thank goodness! I am finally talking to a real person! Listen, Vashtar, I need to check on … ”
“This call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes.”
“That’s OK by me, Vashtar, but all I want is …
“May I have the last four digits of your Social Security number, please?”
“Yeah, sure, but all I want … ”
“Have you shopped with us before?”
“Well, kinda. I used to write a letter to Santa Claus every year and tell him what I wanted for Christmas, if you consider that shopping. Every year, I asked for a pony. I always wanted a pony but I never got one and … ”
“Will you be paying for your purchase by credit card?”
“I haven’t decided yet if I am going to order anything, Vashtar. The reason I am calling is I would like to know if … ”
“I see here that you don’t have one of our Santa Claus Affinity Cards. You might wish to know that for every $50 you spend, you accumulate points that can be used to purchase airline tickets, discounts at the gasoline pump or a jet ski. May I send you a card, Mr. Yarburger?”
“It’s ‘Yarbrough’ and the answer is ‘no.’ All I want is … ”
“It has been a pleasure talking to you, Mr. Yarburger. Please stay on the line for a short customer survey that will enable us to serve you even better in the future. Have a nice day and thank you for choosing Santa Claus at the North Pole.” CLICK!
“Hello? Hello? He’s gone! Rats! And I never even got to speak to Santa Claus! All I wanted to know was if this was the year when I might finally get my *^#@!# pony!”
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.