February 19, 2009

Automated Messages + Stan = giggles

Question: Can you answer a question with a simple Yes or No?

I continually rib Stan about one thing. Well, there's probably 101 things, but this one especially. If I ask him a question such as, "Did you take out the trash?" he answers, "I did." If the receptionist at the doctor's office asks, "Do you have your insurance card?" he answers, "I do, here it is." If one of the boys ask him, "Did you change my bike tire yet?" he answers, "I did not."

Can you notice what is missing? A yes or a no. If he says the yes or no it is never alone. This wouldn't happen:

Hey Stan, did you have a good time at that party? Yes.
Hey Stan, do you like having poison ivy on your neck? Nope.

No. I did, thank you and I do not are his only answers to those questions or perhaps, if he was feeling fancy, an I did enjoy that party, yes.

I rib him. Yes. I complain occasionally too. Here's why. I think it makes the listener work harder than necessary. For instance, let's say there's an emergency. The house is on fire and I run in and yell, "Did you get all of the dark chocolates from the tea cabinet?!" and he yells back through the smoke and crashing lumber, "I did not!" But I don't hear the "not," because I'm in a panic and I assume he rescued all of the dark chocolate but he didn't! A simple, "NO!" would have been more efficient. No?

Or even on the phone sometimes when a person is asking a bunch of important questions as they plug them into the computer, I think answering very directly is more efficient and considerate than throwing in a bunch of other words they have to sift through. What is your mother's maiden name? My mother's maiden name is Bobshoobob. What is your address? I live on the lovely avenue of.....

In a word: Why? And don't answer, "The reason why is...." because that's a whole 'nother personal issue I have and if you say, "The reason is because...." Oh, boy. Don't go there.

Here is where the automated messages are cracking me up. The other day he was maneuvering through one of those question and answer recordings where you have to speak clearly and give concise answers and the machine couldn't understand him and I was rolling on the kitchen floor watching him try to make it listen to his personal language.

what is your name? My name is Stan..... And it would choke and say something about not understanding him.

please give your date of birth I was born on Sept - And it would choke and say something about not understanding him

do you have insurance? I do - And it would choke and ask for a simple YES or NO

please give your doctor's name My doctor's name is - And it would choke and say something about not understanding him

Oh. Yes. I was enjoying that.


Paul Nichols said...

You're either ornery or frisky. Yes?

CRAIG and DIANE said...

This was way too funny!!! What a great way to start my morning!

Mom said...

My husband and yours could join the "I can't give a short answer club." It drives me a little nuts sometimes too.

rosemary said...

We are at the other end of the spectrum...Steve is a Yup & Nope kinda guy. I am a LOUD YES & NO kinda old lady...because the people on the other end of those recordings are STUPID. My peeve is every single night after dinner when the table is a mess and there are a zillion dishes and pans, Steve will say "When are you gonna sit down and relax, sweetheart?" Does he offer to help? Nope. Have I gotten to the point where I answer before he even utters the W? Yup.