Friday, June 14, 2013

Thoughts on Patient Canadians

Trees, so many trees. No, I'm not talking about the Canadian landscape. I'm reflecting on telephone trees. Canadians have adopted them full force with rarely an option for "representative". In the US, (as a Canadian would say "In the States") our telephone trees are often briefer than a few years ago and the option for a real live person, when you need one, is a pretty prompt choice with some companies. Not so, for Canada. When you do have a problem that can only be solved by direct communication you must wade through several trees to get there. The trees are long and convoluted complete with every disclaimer you can imagine. The staff cannot give you personal answers either, even after they have answered your specific request. For example, I needed to speak with a person about changing my mother's address since I am her power of attorney and have the authority to do this but I cannot just go to the website and do so and there is no local office here in Sacramento to drop by. The person I was finally able to reach gave me all the details about getting each page of the document certified as original and what I needed to send in but when it came to giving me the address of where to send all this info she sent me to a recording that gave the info. It was a very brief address.
I really am more American than Canadian because I do NOT have much patience with these. I am dealing with a lot as I settle my Mom into nursing home care. Very complicated and so many places to deal with and they all have telephone trees. Sigh! Since Canadians are patient and generally very polite. (four way stops can be a nightmare -You go first, no you, no you, please - Sigh again!), I do not see these going away or getting any shorter anytime soon, there will not be an outcry.
Oh, Canada!

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