I recently tried to call a local business for which there was no listing in my phone book. So I found an 800 number online.

My call was answered with a recorded voice and the usual message that my call will be monitored for quality control. I have no quarrel with that. I want them to keep tabs on how I am treated. Before I reached a live person, a recording consisted of a series of commercials for other products in which I was not interested. I soon hung up and called a firm that is not so snooty and are listed in my phone book.

I recalled a comedian years ago joking about Beverly Hills, California, being so exclusive that the police had an unlisted phone number. Was this the case with this firm? “What a way to run a business,” was all I could think.

Excuse me for being trivial and griping about minor inconveniences considering all the more serious issues in the world. I try to look for the sunny side in most cases and maintain a positive outlook, but what has happened to our society? Is it too much to expect a live person at the other end any more?

Back in the 1950s, Margaret Mead, the late anthropologist, during a TV interview, said that people often told her they were not worried about the population explosion because there would always be plenty of land on earth for all.

That was not the concern, she said. She pointed out that there would be a breakdown in services that will occur.

Now, here we are a little over 50 years later, and it’s come true.

Remember when we used to dial a number on the old rotary dial phone and not press buttons, and if the line was busy, we’d hang up and try again, until a person answered? We were not given a menu of options, or a recorded message saying, if this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911, as in the case when calling for medical assistance.

I guess it still beats the good old days, however, when we’d hitch a horse to a wagon and go into town in order to talk to a live person.

But it seems to take about as long to get anything done now by phone

Giddyap, Nell.