Why the customer should have known Marla was faking it:


After “the following options,” she forgot to say “Please listen carefully, because the options have changed.”

I remember when the magazine I work for got a voicemail system, and when you called it the message included “Please listen carefully, because the options have changed. To reach the publisher, press 1; To reach the Managing Editor, press 2…”

I called the publisher — on a direct line — and said “Ray, we just got the system installed this morning. How can the options have changed already?” He told me that line is just part of the standard package.

(You know, going back to the Sally Forth from a few minute ago… when the magazine was circling the drain, maybe I should have tried for the same deal Sally suggested)


  1. I always like the instructions that tell you to please hang up before it tells you what to do after you hang up.

  2. “The options have changed” is the boy who cried wolf. When the options do change, people will not be paying attention, because they know that “The options have changed” means nothing has changed.

  3. I always trip on the grammar of “your call will be answered in the order it was received.” How can my singular phone call be in any “order?” Would it be so hard to say “Calls will be answered in the order they are received?”

  4. I did that once. It was the end of a long day, and someone called my desk phone (presumably with a computer problem). I picked up the phone and said, in a recorded-like manner, “You have reached… the helpdesk. If you will…” And then I heard the click of the person on the other end of the line hanging up their phone.

  5. Year before last we became eligible for an NYS senior citizen real estate exemption. As an accountant I am pretty good at dealing with numbers and forms. So I downloaded the form and tried to fill it in. Ha ha ha. So I tried to telephone the tax assessor’s office – the message basically said that they were too busy to take any calls. I tried over several days and a different times only to get the same message. Then the message changed – it basically still said that they could not answer the phone as they were too busy, but added to it was “and don’t come into our office, there is no parking”. We had to go to their workshops where they would review our info and either accept it or tell us what was missing – but that is another story.

    Last year knowing what needed to be done and filed I filled in the forms, obtained all the attachments – none of which any medical business we deal with or bank seems to have ever been asked for the info they wanted before, again. I scanned it all into the computer as a copy and printed out the paperwork and we signed the form and mailed it by certified mail in October as it had to be filed by the end of the year.

    On a Monday evening in November we receive a robocall from the county supervisor that we had applied the year before but not “this year” and time was running out to apply. I was taking my mom to the doctor the next day so I made sure to telephone the assessor’s office before going – message this time was that they were too busy to talk to anyone, but leave a message and they would get back to us. (I am still waiting for them to get back to me 6 months later.) I left a message just in case it would work. While mom was in the doctor’s office I tried calling again, knowing it was a waste of time. This time the message said they were too busy to answer the call, but if we had received the call we did, “some households were called who had already applied or who were not eligible.” Apparently the call was suppose to go out to maybe 3000 households – it had gone out to all 400,000 households in the county! They had a line over 2 hours long. But even though we checked USPS site and the filing had been received by the county, Robert was in a panic as they were saying on the news (yes,this went on all of the news shows in the area) that one was okay as long as they had their receipt from the assessors office. No receipt. We spent an entire evening printing everything out again. The next morning in a light snowstorm we went to the office. It is part of the county complex with court buildings, office buildings, etc. Robert knew where he used to park when he went there for work – 2 blocks over and about 5 or more blocks down in store parking lots on the main road. But it was snowing and this is in the middle of his bad shoulder/arm. So since we could not park, he dropped me off and I went in while he drove over to where he knew he could park and waited. Only 20 people ahead of me so it was not too bad and yes, they had everything. (We are currently waiting for the approval to come in April.) Well, one thing I can say about the assessor’s office – they were too busy to answer the phone and there was no parking – so at least they didn’t lie!

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