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Steve Eaton: If you’ve ever struggled with a password or been stuck in voice mail prison, press 1

Published: Saturday, Sept. 1 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Me: Honey, I’m home. Why does it smell like smoke and gasoline in the garage?

My wife: Welcome home. In order to better serve you, please select one of the following categories.

If you want to complain about work, please press 1.

If you want to volunteer to clean the toilet, please press 2.

If you want to see today’s junk mail, please press 3.

If you want to pretend to listen to me, please press 4.

You get the idea.

I can remember the good old days when only the mafia used passwords, when kids got to ride in the back of open pickup trucks and when our main source of news was John-Boy Walton.

It makes me feel like moving far, far away and then coming back and trying to sell my services as a consultant. If I could get one major company to listen to me, I know I could make a huge difference in their bottom line.

Then everyone would want to pay me to share with them the secrets of success in the online and voice-mail world. People would think me a genius.

Eventually, my phone would start to ring off the hook. I would have to hire people who are capable of processing off-script questions to answer the phones. I would not create a website with frequently asked questions to better serve my customers. I would not gather information from them in long online forms or require them to make up strange passwords if they wanted to reach me.

I would hire Gordon.

Before I launch my company, however, I’d better get this column submitted. It’s a process that requires successfully using a password and filling out several forms. If I don’t hurry, it will be winter before I’m done and early July before this runs.

Steve Eaton lives and works in Logan, Utah. He can be reached at Eatonnews@gmail.com. Please plan on two to three weeks if you expect him to answer your email. His phone number is unavailable.

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