by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
Years ago, if you needed to call the phone, gas, electric, or other service company, a person would answer the phone after a couple of rings. You could explain your dilemma to that person, and within a few minutes he or she would make arrangements to deal with the problem. I am sure you have had similar experiences when dealing with companies, so I won’t elaborate on my issues, but it got me to think about possible league night escapades in the future.
Bowling centers have replaced “people jobs” with machines. We have pinsetters in the decks to sweep away knocked over pins, and set up a new triangle for the next shooter. We have a form of machine called a computer to record each bowlers score and eliminate the big sheet of paper, followed by the ultra hot clear plastic telescore. But machines sometimes make mistakes, so most bowling centers have installed a communication device in the settee area so we can call the desk if there is a problem. However, what may the future hold?
Beep: “Thank you for calling the front desk – if your problem is with the pin deck, press 1, for the approaches, press 2, pinsetter machine, press 3, ball return press 4, all other say ‘other’.”
“Thank you. Please enter your lane number on the console. If you are on lanes 1 and 2, don’t enter both numbers or we’ll think you are on 12.”
“Thank you. If your full rack is missing a pin, please press the reset button on the ball return. I will wait. Did that fix the problem?? If yes say “yes” or press one. If not, press 2.” Now please press “M” and then the number of the pin that is missing from the rack. If you do not know the pin number, consult the triangle chart to the left of the console, or ask some old guy on your pair of lanes. Then follow the pin number with the lane number. I’ll wait. Did that solve the problem? Thank you,”
“Thank you for calling the front desk, AGAIN. Now what’s your problem. If the rack knocked down a pin, press 1. If the ball jumped out of the gutter, press 2, if the foul light didn’t work, press 3, all other, please hold.
“Thank you. Please identify your lane number. If you are on a two digit lane, for example 22, please press 2 twice real fast or we might think you’re on lane 2. Please press now”
“Thank you. Now, please press the number of the pin you need respotted if it’s one through nine. If it’s the 10 pin press t e n, or say ten, otherwise the machine will think you want the 1 pin.”
“Thank you for calling the front desk. If your ball did not come back after a shot, please type b a l l into the console, or stand where we can see you and hold both hands up about 8 inches apart with your palms facing each other. We will need to send a technician to the pindeck to retrieve your ball. Please hold. (a few seconds of elevator music); All of our technicians are busy solving problems on other pairs. Your call is very important to us and will be served by the next available pin chaser, thank you for your patience. (two more minutes of Gong Show music); Thank you for waiting, we are responding to calls in the order they are received, please be patient; (One more minute of Lawrence Welk melodies, followed by a one minute car insurance ad),”
“----Hello, Front desk. Ball return? Okay, we got it. Have a nice day, Good by.”