Wielding taboo

Chris Ambidge wrote recently to say that he had found a cache of Miss Manners columns and gorged on them, adding:

In one I read a tale of someone caught in automated-voice-recognition Hades of some airline’s “customer service” line getting very frustrated and not speaking to a live person, or getting his questions answered. Eventually in frustration he screamed “fuck you!”* [*Miss Manners did not, of course, spell it out, but it was quite clear.] into the phone — and was almost immediately connected to a supervisor, who solved his problem. He told this story to the letter-writer, who … in a frustrating loop with a different company’s phonelines tried it — and lo! it worked. Miss Manners hoped that it could be replaced by “customer service agent please”, and hoped readers would not act on the hint provided in the letter.

Civility, please!

2 Responses to “Wielding taboo”

  1. Robert Morris Says:

    Summarily reject me? Summarily reject you! Mother summarily rejector.

    Every time I hear something like this, I think of “Case 2” at: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=483

  2. The Ridger Says:

    I have discovered that repeating “I want to talk to a human being” at every prompt gets me one within three or four prompts. It might not be as satisfying as screaming Fuck You, though…

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