An Ithaca Health Provider’s Voice Messaging System is a Slice of Unintended Comedic Gold

I’m sure the Guthrie Center in Ithaca is a fine place, but somebody over there forgot to tell the bros in human resources that midnight, Friday, after a few hundred beers, was not the optimal time to get cute with its voice messaging system.

What you’re hearing below is a message from Guthrie, a short, 30-second reminder of an upcoming appointment, complete with three different voices – one computerized (“Friday, January 25th”… “9 o’clock”); a human, relegated to filling in for the computer’s limited vocabulary (“Guthrie Clinic wishes to remind…” “Your appointment is scheduled at…”); and, lastly — I’m guessing — a kind of strange, hybrid cross between a computer and some asshole doing his best radio voice (“LINDseeeeyyyy”…. “ITHaaaccccaaaa”).

We laughed about this message for a good while, made a solid inside-joke about it that will last for the foreseeable future. I doubt that was the provider’s intention.

Maybe Guthrie saves a lot of time through this messaging system, but at what expense? What does a seemingly harmless voice mail, fragmented and awkwardly spliced together, tell me about the way they view patients?

Sometimes, a little effort and sincerity go a long way, particularly in a field becoming far more brazen in revealing its true tendency toward maximized profits.

Sometimes, a simple phone – human to human – says a lot more beyond the details of this week’s appointment in the “ALLLerrrgyyyy departmentttttttt.”

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