At our disposal, we have many tools to aid in communication. We have I Phones, I pads and computers ,we have come a long way from Alexander Graham Bell’s patent for the telephone. Controversy has surrounded the original invention . Who was the first person to get to the patent office?
Bell shares the inventor bragging rights with Antonio Meucci. He was said to have lost the patent for lack of funds. Bell’s lawyer was first to the patent office. His lawyer and another inventor named Gray filed patents on the same day within hours of each other.
I had time to ponder these and other facts as I tried to use a smart phone to change a reservation at a hotel.
First I called the hotel where I was told to select from numbered options.
“Press one if you want to make a reservation.”Press two to change or cancel a reservation.”
I pressed 2 and waited. I was given a similar list of options. Finally, I was asked by a robotic voice to state my changes. I received an email stating that I would have to contact the hotel directly to make any changes.
“Great! That was I thought I was doing.”
I tried again and closely listen to my options. One of the selections was a chat. I didn’t want to chat, because I have a hearing impairment and thought I would miss some important information.
After trying several other options I found a chat option with typing prompts. This I could use with voice over on my phone.
I was connected to a loop system that put in line for a representative .
I had no information as to how many people were in the virtual line ahead of me.
I put down the phone and started to look up information on my I Pad. I was looking for assistance for special needs. I waited for fifteen minutes. I didn’t know if I was still connected. Looking at my screen, my husband noted that typing was appearing on my screen. I had turned voice over off and had no sound.
There was a real person typing on the other end of the phone. I entered the problem and resolved the issues of getting another night’s lodging. The change took over a half an hour.
On the screen I never noted a way to get special assistance. I was registered as a visually impaired participant at a conference.
Bell’s controversy continues to today’s smart phones.
I long for the time when I could make a call and wait for another person to answer.
Even when I call my primary care specialist, I have tiers of questions, and need to respond with number selections. There is always the added comment,”If this an medical emergency , hang up and call 911.”
One of these calls, I will have a real emergency. When a person finally answers, I will be gone.
“Please stay on the line for the next operator.”
“Press one to select the extended care center.”
“Please wait as your call is transferred.”
You are next in line .”
elevator music plays.
Pushing to turn down the volume, the phone is disconnected.