Our Menu Options Have Recently Changed. Bullshit, They Have

Please listen carefully, as our menu options have changed.

Why does seemingly every corporation in America place this empty warning in their phone tree message? I’m going to answer my own question here: because they know we are impatient bastards who want to press 0 to speak to a live human being. And they don’t want you to do that because: a) it would make your life too easy, and b) they’d have to hire more people to route calls, which, even in the Dickensian Third World backwaters where they recruit, costs money.

I’ve been calling Aetna Specialty Pharmacy at least once a month to refill a prescription for the last nine years. And every single time, I’ve had to listen to this bogus threat. Folks, I swear the menu options have NOT fucking changed. I swear, I’ve been pushing 4 (refill prescription) and 2 (I’m a patient, not a doctor) since before my two sons, ages 6 and 4, were born. Many things in my life have changed during this time period (profession, state of residence, family status, etc.) but my Aetna menu options have, oddly enough, been a model of stability.

And while I’m blowing off a little steam here, two more items. Most people are calling a prescription pharmacy to fill a bloody prescription, are they not? But for some reason, people who are calling for more obscure reasons are called out first. As in, press 1 if this is John Santoro from Cheektowaga, New York, our one and only patient who has a really obscure disease, and thus, his very own menu option. Press 2 if you’ve just consumed an entire watermelon and need help spitting out the rinds, and so on. Could the 99.9% of us who are calling to refill prescriptions and are foolish enough to believe the our-menu-options-have-changed bullshit please have the press 1 option? This is going to save us all a shitload of time. Thank you.

And one last thing. Every time I call, the phone tree gal says, “We are experiencing an unusually high call volume.” Every time. At what point does this “unusually high volume” simply become the normal volume? Not once has she said, “We are experiencing normal call volume today,” or “We’re all sitting around with our thumbs up our anuses today because our call volume is so low.”

I’ve been waiting patiently for these mythical menu option changes that have never materialized for nine years now. The other day, I was feeling reckless and, after hearing the threat, thought fuck it, I’m not waiting. I pressed 4 and then 2, just like I always do. But it sent me into some option about fertility treatment. I was convinced that perhaps the menu options had finally changed.

I hung up, called back, listened to the whole damn litany again. And you know what? The menu options were still the same, so there must be some insidious scheme to route people who clearly haven’t listened to the whole message into a random purgatory. From now on, I guess I’ll just do as I’m told.