‘CP 19034623489 IR’
The voice activated service, ‘CP 19034623489 IR. Is this correct? Please say yes or no.’
The voice activated service, ‘Please bear with me while I look for the information. This may take up to thirty seconds……….Your parcel was last tracked at Parcelforce Worldwide International Hub on 26 of August at 1:48 PM. The expected delivery date is 31 August. Now you can choose from ‘Arrange delivery’ ‘Track another parcel’ or ‘all other enquiries’. To end this call just say goodbye’
I almost didn’t want to let him go, we had been through so much together in the past few days. I was feeling very emotional and I think he might have been going through something similar too because he didn’t interrupt our little moment with his usual, ‘sorry I didn’t get that. Please choose from the following options ‘arrange delivery’ ‘Track another…’ He simply waited for me to pull myself together.
‘Goodbye’ I said at last with a quivering voice. I had chosen the wrong option again, I should have said ‘Arrange delivery’ but it was ok, I just couldn’t leave him without saying goodbye.
I waited, but he said nothing. Needless to say I felt like an idiot. I had been so close to my goal of talking to a real person. I had been so close I had almost felt the hustle and bustle of the call centre, ‘Good afternoon my name is Linda. How may I help you?’, the sound of a mug of tea being put down on a desk, ‘Is there anything else I could help you with?’, the comforting sound of professional typing (with all ten fingers) ‘Is your parcel coming from another country?’, the sound of draws opening and closing.
O I had been so close to all that and what had I done? I had sacrificed it all for a stupid good-for-nothing machine!
But then, ‘Goodbye…’ he said softly and for the first time in four days, his voice was free from its usual sarcastic tone. He paused again for a few seconds to gather his thoughts (or to rearrange his wires or something). I was getting worried. Was he ok? I listened.
‘…and thank you for calling Parcelforce worldwide.’
He was back. I smiled and hung up.