This topic is a plea for companies to use people whenever possible in their communication with people. I cannot quite remember when the trend began for companies to use answering machines and long menus of “options” to route customers to the people they want to talk with. My best guess is in the 1980s. Nowadays, the menus have become self-perpetuating, literally going around in hoops so that it becomes impossible to contact anyone at all. We are reduced to machines ourselves, waiting impatiently for the endless musak to stop and with no choice but to follow set procedures. Am I alone in thinking that this has been one of the biggest disasters for mental health in the last century? I honestly think that dispensing with these stupid machines and hiring real teams of people to talk with customers would improve our quality of life, as well as creating jobs and improving corporate image. This is an easy one to put in place. Imagine a world where you could ring a company and get through to a helpful and pleasant human being!