Who Gave That Robot My Digits?

When I call to pay my electric bill, I get a lady named Rosie. Every time. She’s sweet. She always hears me right. And as she looks up my account, I can hear her fingers tap on her keyboard.

Which….is weird. Because she doesn’t even have fingers. Rosie is a robot. She’s one of dozens of robots I have phone calls with every week.

We’re, like, living in the future the Jetsons predicted in a lot of ways. Isn’t that wild? For the most part it’s annoying, but Rosie is the exception.

rosie 2

My phone rings constantly with numbers that look like mine, and numbers that don’t. And when I answer them, every robot greets me and says their name. In an even stranger twist, most of the robots tell me their name is Lisa – which is a little too Single White Female for me, and gives up their robot-ness straight away since no one born after 1980 (it seems) has that name.

It’s true. The teen who took our order once commented about how her aunt had the same name as me – and she was blown away because it was so rare to meet another Lisa.

I just wonder why they give the robots a name anyway. Same thing with making Rosie type. I mean, we know right away that it’s a robot calling. Right away.

It might be the beep we hear. Or the pause. Or the enthusiasm in their voice. Or the fact that we never signed up for a pain study, or enrolled our kid at that school 60 miles away, or inquired about an Alaskan cruise or wanted more information about an adjustable bed.

If they’re trying to comfort us by installing these robots with human-like qualities, it’s a waste of time. But, so is blocking the number. The robots just scramble up a new number all the time, according to reports I’ve heard. That’s why they continue.

Also, does anyone actually ever buy the timeshare or the bed or the cruise or sign up for the pain study? Anyone? Someone must, or these stupid calls would stop.

That’s a pipe dream, though, I think. It’d be lovely if we went back in time, pre-Jetsons present, to an era where robots didn’t work the phones. Ever.

Except for Rosie. She’s my one exception, because I call her. And she knows me by my number, so we’re, like, practically besties.