Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Anatomy of an Automated Apology

I love speaker phone. Without speaker phone I wouldn't be able to make half the calls I do. I don't have time to waste being on hold, so I place the phone on speaker and tote it around the house as I get things done.

This morning I was on hold again and took the phone into the kitchen where Zachary was having breakfast...

Speaker:
THANK YOU FOR HOLDING...A REPRESENTATIVE WILL BE WITH YOU SHORTLY...

Zachary: Who is that man, Mama? Who is that man in the pocket of your robe?

Me: He's not a real man, Zachary. It's just a recording that plays while I'm waiting on hold.

Speaker: THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING TO HOLD...WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE WAIT...

Zachary: Apologize? Why, apologize? What did he do? He's not even a real man.

Very true. In Zachary's world an apology is a very personal thing. It involves the willingness to recognize that you have wronged someone else, the humility to verbalize that, and lastly, a hug to display your good will. An automated robot may be able to feign the first two, but how in the world could he possibly hug us?

2 comments:

Crafty Mom said...

Sounds exactly like my 2 year olds apologies. Saying you are sorry in the correct tone of voice, and then a gentle hug. It slows him down and makes him realize more fully what he did wrong.

The phone in the pocket talking I think would throw off even my 5 year old, but they would probably laugh hysterically over it.

Diane said...

Zachary, you are wise beyond your years!

Cute story, Suzanne.