When Calling, Pay Attention, As Some Options May Have Changed

by Celia Rivenbark


Why is it that every time you call a business office, medical office, government agency, even a retail store, you are greeted with an automatic response that immediately instructs you to “listen carefully, as some of our menu options may have changed.”

I hate change. I want my menu options to stay the same no matter what. But, apparently, much of the average workday is spent making sure the department that used to be “Press One” is now “Press Two” or, for our Spanish-speaking customers, “Numero Dos.” I will admit that I often want to press Numero Dos just to mess with them. When the Spanish prompt picks up, maybe I’ll just start yelling “SAY IT IN AMURICAN!!!”

Oh, settle down. I have a lot of time on my hands since I finished “House of Cards.”

Apparently a lot of people are upset about having to talk to customer service reps that are half a world away.

I’ve noticed commercials in which businesses crow about how you will get a “real, live, English-speaking person who will not try to sell you additional merchandise” when you call with a question or complaint.


No. What I meant to say was, I don’t object to calls being outsourced as long as they keep the options the same. I don’t care that “Craig” in

Bangladesh is halfway around the world. I don’t even care that we all know his real name is not Craig but he thought Americans are a skittish lot and would be freaked out by Reyansh. Craig sounds very Midwestern hot dish and therefore trustworthy.

Just stop changing the options. It happens so often with one office I call that I honestly wonder if they’re just bored.

“Susie, what are you going to do today?”

“Ima going to change up these options again. Boo-ya!”

“Why? What’s wrong with the current options?”

“Nothing. But they haven’t been changed in a few days and we don’t want people getting too comfortable.”

And to keep you on high alert, note that it’s always “SOME options have changed.”

Really? Just some of them? Why not all of them? Answer me, Craig/Reyansh! Sometimes, they say that “SOME options MAY have changed.”

Don’t be coy. I can’t take the suspense.

And while we’re on the subject, why do they always say: “Please pay attention” with this kind of vaguely disappointed tone as if they assume the caller is a dumbbell who won’t be able to remember whether he wants new option 1 or old option 4. Wait. What was 1 again? Ack! Now I gotta hang up and start all over again. No! I can just go press zero for an operator. OK, disconnected.

In conclusion, I will call back and pay better attention because some options may or may not have changed and, well, my call is very important to them. They told me so. Right before they cut me off after being on hold for 20 minutes.


Rivenbark is the best-selling author of seven humor collections. Visit her website at www.celiarivenbark.com ©2017 Celia Rivenbark. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.