Wednesday, October 8

B - E - N!

Last night I thought to myself, oh, I should get myself a plane ticket so I can meet with up with Lisa in California in November. I made the mistake of picking up the phone and trying to work my way through the United Airlines computer assisted ordering. (I have a travel voucher so I have to talk with them.) It went a little something like this:

Computer: Please state your first name and then spell it.
Me: Ben, B - E - N.
Computer: *bloop, bloop. bloop* Did you say Den? D - E - N?
Me: No. B - E - N
Computer: I'm sorry, I must have misheard you. Lets try that again. *bloop, bloop, blip* Did you say Eden? E - D - E - N?
Me: NO: B - E - N!
Computer: I'm sorry again, I heard you wrong. *bloop, blip, blip* Did you slay Bam? B - A - M?
Me: NO, NO, NO?
Computer: Did you want to start over?
Me: NO! Ben, B - E - N!
Computer: *bloop* Did you say Ben? B - E - N?
Me: YES!
Computer: Excellent. What is your last name?
Me: I want to speak to an agent.

The thing that made this worse was my mother-in-law and Lisa laughing at me as I shouted the spelling of my name into the phone. The agent wasn't too much better though as she had what I would call an "Indian/ Minnesotan" accent.

I really dislike United.



  1. Anonymous11:17 AM

    Welcome to the "We're united to dislike United" Club.


  2. I think that's the hardest I've heard my mom laugh in some time! And I'm glad I'm not married to someone named "Bam".

  3. I went to school with a girl named "Eden." I always thought that was a cool name. Be glad I didn't name Ben that...but he's not a girl, so it wouldn't have worked so well anyway. :)

  4. Anonymous12:47 PM

    My name could have been indicative of how God created the world. BAM-Eden.


  5. I've had the same trouble you have had. You know what helped? I talked like a computer voice from the 80's and honest to goodness the United Airlines machine understood me.

    You know who has the most awesome voice recognition? Fedex! I try to fool that system all the time by slurring my voice or talking fast and it catches everything. Kinda creepy.

  6. Anonymous1:43 PM

    That's right Dan, you gotta speak their language!


  7. I'm laughing out loud at Bam-Eden.

  8. I don't know if you listen to Prairie Home Companion, but a few months ago they had a hilarious skit about trying to get through an automated phone system like that. I'll try to find it (read: I'll ask Ian to find it for me) and post a link. Since hearing that, I've actually been much more amused than irritated with those dumb systems.

  9. OK, we found the script for it anyway:

  10. Anonymous9:09 AM

    Thanks Katie and Ian for the link. I could hear GK in my head as I read it.



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