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Phone inquiries, curbs and another Johnson County

My weekly column is titled “This and That” primarily because it has no basic theme week to week but deals with a variety of subjects at my discretion. This week’s column could well be subtitled “This and That” because I want to touch briefly on a couple of subjects In this one column.
First I want to address my dislike for the automated telephone response when I call a business to solve a problem or have a question answered. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind hearing a menu that enables me to route my call to a particular person or department. No, I don’t mind that at all.
What really gets to me is when I hear that I probably can get the answer to my question by interacting with some sort of automatic language-sensitive voice at the other end of the line. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve rarely been able to get the answer to any questions I have to the company or person by using that route.
You know it’s not a real person you’re talking to and it feels kind of weird. Actually you’re talking to a machine. The emitter of this voice will ask you to state clearly with few words the nature of your problem. If and when you don’t respond, the machine will urge you to speak louder as it didn’t hear you. What if you can’t express the question in a few words?
I like to be directed to a living, breathing human being. But to get to such an individual one has to be put on hold often for a very long time. I’ve waited for as little as five minutes and as long as an hour to ask a question that is important to me. “Our associates are all busy serving other customers, please hold until an associate becomes available,” is intoned at regular intervals. “ “Your call is important to us, we’re sorry for the wait” is often added to the recorded message.
All the while there’s music. With some companies, there will be music to sooth the mind and soul. With others it is pure torture. Sometimes it is something in between the two extremes.
Now, I’m intelligent enough to know that the companies or businesses use that method to conduct business because it is likely a smart cost-effective business practice. But, I still don’t like it.
I’m going to another subject that really gets to me. Have you ever noticed that there are often curbs in places they don’t need to be? That’s my take on it at least. The business and highway people may have a perfectly good reason to place curbs in places that have kept auto alignment people busy for many years, but I just don’t know what those reasons might be.
When you least expect it, you’ll hear a grinding noise under your car and you know you have run over a curb that shouldn’t have been there to start with. It seems to me that curbs should be kept to a minimum. You might laugh, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one who has jumped a curb. I’ve had a few folks admit to me that they have.
Now, I’ll go to another subject. This time it is not to complain but to express thanks to whomever anonymously informed me of another state with a Johnson County. Recently I wrote in this column that were 11 counties name Johnson in the United States. Besides Johnson County, Tennessee, I wrote that there were Johnson Counties in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Nebraska. An anonymous reader informed me that there is a Johnson County, Wyoming as well. I had inadvertently missed that one. So, there are 12. At least that’s all I know about.
Johnson County, Wyoming is located in the north central part of the state of Wyoming. The county seat is Buffalo. Only one more incorporated town exists in the county and that is Kaycee. Johnson County Wyoming was organized in 1875. The population was 7,025 when the 2000 census was taken.