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November 9th, 2006


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01:14 pm - useless phrases
There's a lot of useless phrases around us. So useless they can't even claim to be cliche. They're useless because they're used in an attempt to get us to take notice, but we've heard them so many times we know they don't mean nothin.

Take, for example, the fun phrase you hear every time you call an automated phone tree system.

"Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed."

Judging from the number of times I hear that in a day when making calls out, there must be a brisk business in Phone Tree Option Changing. Perhaps it's a career worth looking into. "Gentlemen, for the last two quarters now we've had callers pressing 1 for financial services, 2 for press inquiries, 3 for the company directory, and if they need an operator, to press zero or just stay on the line. Para espanol, oprimo numero quatro. But we cannot continue to produce the results our investors expect from us if we stay stagnant! We must have a phone tree shake-up!"

On the other hand, I've used the same bank for going on 6 years now, and every time they say "Our menu options have changed" and every time I just keep hitting the same numbers I always hit and I always end up hearing my balance, which is what I was calling for in the first place. Someday, however, I just know they're going to call my calling their bluff, and change their options around just to spite me, and I'll hit the same numbers I always hit and instead of hearing my balance, I'll have just transferred all my money to the bank president's offshore account.

Along with Menu Option Changer, another hot job must be Hotel Renovator. If you believe every hotel description you read online, every single goddamn hotel is "newly-renovated." Hotels are constantly being renovated in ad copy land. In fact, it's difficult to get a good night's sleep anywhere anymore, owing to the constant renovations going on, day and night. But hip hip hooray! That cockroach infested hovel you barely got two hours' sleep in last year is apparently now new and spiffy and shiny and comparable to the Savoy! (Hell, it was the Savoy!)

What other useless phrases do you enjoy on a daily basis, though you refuse to let them do what they were intended to do?

(37 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 9th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)

Keith in Minnesota

(Link)
"You're entitled to your opinion."

Am I also entitled to punch you in the teeth for spouting off such a condescending phrase?

Not you, Spatch. The generic YOU.

Must up meds.
(Deleted comment)
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From:annilita
Date:November 9th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
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No, I used to be a teacher, and I can vouch for that being a total fallacy.
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From:reveritas
Date:November 9th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
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all work emails must be signed thus:

Thanks,
[sender]

Even if it's something like what i wrote recently:

Your timeline for this is not based in reality, even if you would manage to get me this material on time for me to do it by the time you need it. Please send me a more realistic deadline, keeping in mind the question of whether we all really need to give ourselves ulcers over a project that's going to go nowhere anyway.

Thanks,
Tasha

i think the person reading was probably going "Thanks for what, you smug bitch!"

i should have signed it "Have a nice day!"
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 9th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
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I love when people finish their email with "Please advise."

Especially when it comes after a full laundry list of instructions and/or questions.

And by "love" I mean "totally loathe."
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From:invisibelle
Date:November 9th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)
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But people pressing the old menu options is a huge problem in the American economy; it wastes something like $274 a year per capita. Think what we could do with all that money.
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From:ironpoet
Date:November 9th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
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"Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed."

Wait... if you weren't listening carefully in the first place, then you wouldn't hear these instructions!
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 9th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
But now that I've heard it, I'm making a concerted effort to listen more carelessly!
From:kevin_church
Date:November 9th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
"Your call is very important to us, please hold."

If it was so very important to you, you'd answer it.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 9th, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)
(Link)
C:\TRU.DAT
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From:jadasc
Date:November 9th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC)
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"For purposes of quality assurance, this call may be monitored or recorded."
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From:derspatchel
Date:November 9th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
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I have NEVER had to say that.
NEVER EVER EVER.

mutter mutter grumble grumble
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From:gilana
Date:November 9th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
"We are experiencing a high volume of calls right now."

In other words, more calls than we had in, say, 1890. We're sure it's just a blip, certainly not worth hiring more employees.
(Deleted comment)
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From:allicat42
Date:November 10th, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
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You too, ay? LOL.
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From:alphacygni
Date:November 10th, 2006 05:36 am (UTC)
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I'm almost tempted to start using "Please advise". Or something. Because the number of times this week that I've sent out emails at work of this form:

"Question. Statement. Another question."

and gotten back:

"Partial answer to first question. Irrelevant segue. Fin."

IS DRIVING ME CRAZY. Apparently no one can parse more than a one sentence email anymore.
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From:doctor_sentence
Date:November 10th, 2006 12:02 pm (UTC)
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"Have you seen [person]?" used to mean, "Do you know where [person] is?" I always get the urge to answer the question as worded.

C: Have you seen the boss?
M: Yup. Still not gone blind, thanks for checking.
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From:jackbishop
Date:November 10th, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC)
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I enjoy the signage in the stairwell of my office, which is a DEN OF LIES. We're warned that there's no access to the 6th and 7th floors, which is not true. We're warned theat the doors are locked and alarmed on the weekends. We're warned that the freight elevators are for construction personnel only and that the passenger elevators are for staff only and that horrible things will happen if we don't follow these regulations, and that isn't true either. The closest thing to a true statement to be found in the stairwell is grafitti reading "UCSD fucks undergrads", and that doesn't really count as a sign.
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From:babs_the_nymph
Date:November 10th, 2006 08:00 pm (UTC)
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My pet peeve:

"Please enter your account number so that the account representative may expedite your request."

Or somesuch variant. I've never entered that number and then had someone answer my call who didn't ask for it again. Either it's just a way of weeding out the accountless riffraff, or companies want to appear more technologically advanced than they really are.
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From:silvair
Date:November 10th, 2006 11:31 pm (UTC)
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The last company I worked for that stated that, bought the first part of the system, then decided it was too expensive and did not buy the second part of the system that would allow the person answering the phone to have that info. Pissed callers off all the time and they never told the new phone reps who were always broadsided with it. But I thought it was nice that there was always money for head of the company staff to have annual meetings in exotic locations so that pictures could be sent to the drones in their monthly meetings to keep morale up. Proper use of company funds is so important.

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