Friday, January 3, 2020

Information, Please

Years ago on the ancient phone system, you could dial zero for an operator. I believe one could ask for information. Those "hello girls" were always there to give you a phone number in any location!

Yesterday I tried to find a phone number for a friend in a neighboring state, The number for this miracle of technology is 1-800-373-3411. I believe for a short time that the information number was just 411.

I was answered by a recorded robot asking me to state if I wanted a business or residential? She understood me. That was the last thing she understood.

The name of the town is two words. Let's say it was Poplar Bluff (it was not.) She/it/the voice could not understand it. "If this isn't correct, say Go Back."  I said "go back" a lot.

Finally, I tried the last name. It is an unusual name but sounds like a tool we use: butter knife. (Not it.)  She/it/the voice couldn't handle that at all. After many more tries of clearing my throat, lowering my tone several octaves and speaking loudly, I just gave up.

I think I'll write her a letter.

Later:  I remembered that I have list of class mates and some have phone numbers included. She was on that list! So I called her. Now the letter!


  1. I really detest those robotic answering machines. It seems that every business you call has them and they never, ever understand me. I'm glad you found the number on your own and were able to contact your friend.

  2. Ha! The internet has some for White Pages, then plug in the names and the town:)