I have seen the future.
This little drop of prescience is merely based on my experiences in the past and present and extrapolating them.
So what is this astounding prediction? Well, it’s quite simple really. In the future there will only be one phone number. Yes, that number will give you access to anyone or anything you need.
In the past, if I wanted to ring my bank manager or the sales department of a company I would just phone them. They all had their individual numbers which was fine. But then they discovered that bane of modern life – the automatic exchange – where you are presented with various options [accompanied of course by tacky music, inane ads and advice to visit their fucking website which is where I found their number in the first place]. It has reached the stage now where companies only have one phone number. It doesn’t matter whether I just want to contact my local branch, make a query about a product or just contact Mary who I know works in Sales. Just one number that gives me a massive menu covering every topic except [of course] the reason for my call.
I am having to do a bit of manipulation to various accounts at the moment. This involves changing details in bank accounts, insurance companies, utilities and the rest. Without exception they all have just one number each. For example, I wanted to make an appointment to visit a bank manager. They naturally have only one number which covers every aspect of their business and every branch in the country. When you wind your way through their tortuous menus you will find no mention anywhere about making appointments or indeed any mention of your local branch [Please visit our website]. The only way to get any sense is to pick menu items at random until you can reach a living, breathing person.
So what about the future?
It’s pretty obvious that you will just have one number –
Do you want to contact a person or a business? Please select the country. Please select the region. Please speak the person’s full name. I didn’t understand that, please repeat the person’s name. I didn’t understand that, please repeat the person’s name. Etc. Etc. Etc.
In the future we are going to spend our entire lives listening to crap music, cheap adverts and useless options just to speak to our doctor, or Cousin Martha or whatever.
Mark my words.