Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Willy Poole Column

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Willy Poole Column

Article excerpt

Byline: By Willy Poole

There are so many petty annoyances that embrangle everyday life in England today, that one sometimes feels spoilt for choice.

There is one particular niggle which concerns telephones.

Should I have occasion to telephone The Journal ("Give us another chance, Boss ( I promise to spell antidisestablishmentarianism right the next time") a nice lady answers and most efficiently puts me through to nice Mr Patterson, or, to be more correct, his voice mail.

Now I know that nice Mr Patterson exists because I have met him, but I can rarely get to speak to him first time.

However that is not the fault of the nice lady ( she does her job superbly and that is the way telephones should be dealt with.

But that is not the zeitgeist.

You mostly get a recorded voice saying that you have reached the offices of Plonker & Co.

To speak to "Some Nerd" ( press 2. To speak to an "Even More Complete Nerd" ( press 3. To speak to an "Absolutely Awful and Totally Useless Prat" ( press 4a and when you've done all this, the blighter is never there, or if he is he's "in a meeting".

I had an insurance broker once who loved hunting but hated to have his clients know about his pleasure.

He also had a splendid secretary who was a staunch Methodist and would therefore tell no lies. My Man solved this problem by calling his horse "Business".

This meant that the secretary could say with an unsullied soul that "Mr Blank was out of the office on Business".

If any of you have ever wondered what a "Jesuitical Casuistry" is and I know it is something that occupies the minds of many Journal readers, that is a fine example of one. My point in all this is that the old fashioned way worked and still works.

All this push button kett does not. It leads to frustration, inefficiency and a waste of time and therefore money ( usually mine.

The firms who install these abominations probably think that they are just showing how go-ahead and cutting edge they are. …

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