I went to CVS on my way home from work yesterday. Right before I headed to the checkout line these two elderly ladies walked in and headed for the counter on the far side of the store. So, as I'm waiting behind someone in line to finish checking out, I hear, "Los Angeles, California." Naturally, I'm thinking Okay, they must be using one of those automated 411 services.
Now, I'll admit it, I absolutely hate any automated telephone service that I need to speak to. If I can't talk to a human being (and trust me, I don't like to be on the phone in the first place), then I don't want to talk at all. If it's a machine, I'm pushing buttons. That's it. I don't talk to machines. I type at them. I feel the same about people sometimes, too.
So there was a pause, then, "Los Angeles, California." Obviously it didn't work the first time. They never do. This is why I hate them. After another pause, "Los... Angeles... California." Still not workin' for ya, eh, Lady? You'd think after all these years of perfecting voice recognition software, they might make something that works. But no, it continues. By this time, the cashier, the lady in front of me, and I are quietly chuckling to ourselves. The lady checking out remarks on how she never liked those things. I nodded.
"Los Angeles... California!" See? All this technology; the ability to create bionic limbs, play video games without ever touching a controller, make cars that park themselves, print body parts and organs, and yet we can't seem to program one simple information service that can recognize 3 words without probably connecting you to Tahiti instead of Boston, because they sound so similar. *twitch*
Anyway, back to the crazy lady and the idiot 411 machine. She kept trying. I'll give her credit for persistence. By this time, I'm at the front of the line checking out. "California!" Oy... "CALIFORNIA! CAL-I-FORN-IA!" Please, Lady, just give up and go Google it or something. "LOS... AN-GE-LES... CAL-I-FORN-IA!!" I'm dying inside here. I want to both fall down laughing and grab the phone and chuck it across the store. Perhaps I would fall down laughing after chucking it across the store. But neither happened.
I finished checking out, and I hear it one more time. "Los Angeles, Califooorniaaa..." Great, now she's singing to it. As if it's an improvement over speaking 'Cause that worked like a charm. I left the store and lost it. I'm glad no one was out in the parking lot, because I would've looked like a crazy fool laughing to myself on the way to my car. I hopped in and decided that I just had to share this experience. It's too good not to.
And with that, I bid you PEACE OUTSIDE!!