Even the Pearly Gates are not immune to the relentless privatisation offensive…

I’ve often wondered about a phone line to Heaven so that on those days when you are St Marysreally missing someone when it would be nice just to have a chat with your mum, dad, sister, brother….anyone really, how brilliant it would be.

But in an age of unstoppable outsourcing, persistent privatisation, excessive security checks and push button phone conversations, has the world upstairs also been affected? I thought I might take a humorous look at connecting with the other side…..

“Hello, is that Heaven?”

A smooth and electronically enhanced Joanna Lumley style of voice replies:

“Hello. You’re through to Heaven’s Gate. If you know the extension or department you need, please say it after the tone.”

“Oh, an answering service, no I don’t know I’m afraid, this is the first time I’ve called.”

“Putting you through.”

‘Click’. Rose Royce ‘I’m Wishing on a Star’ plays

“Hello caller. You’re through to the Heaven’s Gate operator, is this your first call to Pearly Gates Incorporated?”

“Oh….er….yes. I was hoping to speak to my father.”

“That’s no problem, but first I need to take some more details, go through a few security checks. Is that all right?”

The sound of a keyboard being tapped

“Yes, fine….but-”

“Before we do, I just need to tell you this call may be recorded for training & monitoring purposes so that we can improve our service. Is that OK?”

‘Tap tap’

“Yes, fine….but-”

“We also have a number of new terms & conditions following the merger between Heavens Above, The Pearly Gates and The Happy Hunting Ground Unlimited. All T&C’s can be seen on our website www.thepearlygates.co.uk and your attention is drawn to clause 3,656 subsection 351 (b) 4.”

‘Tap tap’

“Oh, I didn’t know you had a-”

“And if you don’t mind answering a few questions at the end of your call so we can gauge how well our service met your needs, it will only take a few minutes. Is that OK?”

‘Tap tap’

“Yes, fine….but-”

“Good. Now what did you say your name was? It’s Sophia Moseley isn’t it? Do you mind if I call you Sophia?”

“Yes, fine….but-”

“Under the latest legislation covering celestial mergers & acquisitions, I am required by divine intervention to ask what faith you follow but if you are unsure at this particular moment, it’s OK to say you are ‘seeking the truth’.”

“I’m Christian.”

‘Tap tap’

“And under the latest guidelines, whilst I am not able to offer any spiritual guidance or advice, (please contact your nearest place of worship for any religious instruction) would you say you are a regular, occasional or when-the-mood-takes-you sort of church goer?”

“Occasional I suppose.”

‘Tap tap’

“Now if I could take you through security….the third letter of your best friend’s middle name?”

“I don’t know.”

‘Tap’

“The name of the book you first scribbled in when you were two?”

“I don’t know that either.”

‘Tap’

“How about the number of times you were told off for not looking both ways before crossing a road between the ages of 7 and 9?”

“I don’t know I’m afraid.”

‘Tap & sigh’

“I’m afraid you haven’t passed our security so I will have to put you through to department J10 who will help you further.”

“But wait, all I want to do is speak to my father, surely I don’t need to pass a security check for that?”

Line clicks & Paul McCartney’s The Pipes of Peace plays

“Hello caller you are through to department J10. I just need to tell you this call may be recorded for training & monitoring purposes so that we can improve our service. Is that OK?”

“Yes, fine.” (Said in a resigned ‘here we go again’ kind of voice)

“We also have a number of new terms & conditions following the merger between Heavens Above, The Pearly Gates and The Happy Hunting Ground Unlimited. All T&C’s can be seen on our website www.thepearlygates.co.uk and your attention is drawn to clause 3,656 subsection 352 (c) 3.”

“Really, it’s all fine. All I want to do is speak to my father if he’s there.”

“Of course but I do just need to take you through security and if you don’t mind answering a few questions at the end of your call so we can gauge how well our service met your needs, it will only take a few minutes. Is that OK?”

“Yes that’s fine.” (Said through gritted teeth).

“Can you tell me the name of your great grand-father’s favourite dog?”

“No!”

“OK, how about your aunt’s neighbour’s youngest daughter?”

“No! Look are these questions really necessary? I mean why do I need to go through security to speak to my father?”

“I’m afraid it’s our company protocol, since the privatisation of all heavenly corporations, we have to apply the same rules to every caller. But I will on this one occasion only make an exception as it’s the first time you have called, but I must advise that all future calls will be subject to our security checks.”

“Fine”

“Now you wanted to speak to your father?”

“Yes, is he there?”

“I’ll just put you through caller.”

Line clicks, Disney’s When You Wish Upon a Star plays

“Hello, you have reached department C16, all of our operators are busy at the moment dealing with other calls, your call is important to us so please stay on the line……your are….566th in the queue.”

“I tell you what dad, I’ll send a card up the chimney when the kids write to Father Christmas. Love you lots and miss you more”

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About Sophia Moseley

Freelance Copywriter, Feature Writer and Author. Looking for that illusive job that every working mother craves but surviving, just, on what I can find. My writing and poetry keeps my sane. Watch this space.
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2 Responses to Even the Pearly Gates are not immune to the relentless privatisation offensive…

  1. calmgrove says:

    Very funny, but sadly much too close to real life, Sophia! I liked too that the Pearly Gates link took me to your other online presence…

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