"Oxymoron" is what I meant to say, but anyone who has ever spent time with automated phone menus, tech service, or customer service has probably been close to a Lizzie Borden moment.
1657, from Gk. oxymoron, noun use of neut. of oxymoros (adj.) "pointedly foolish," from oxys "sharp" (see acrid) + moros "stupid." Rhetorical figure by which contradictory terms are conjoined so as to give point to the statement or expression; the word itself is an illustration of the thing. Now often used loosely to mean "contradiction in terms."
Thanks to the New York Times for catching me up about the top ten audio file of Vincent Ferrari's call trying to "Cancel AOL". I also enjoyed Brian Finkelstein's video on YouTube: "A Comcast Technician Sleeping on my Couch".
I've spent a ridiculous amount of time this week trying to return calls to a State Farm claims investigator about a bike/car accident I witnessed a few Sundays ago. She needs something from me, but I have invested my time first in listening to her phone messages numerous times to write down all her phone numbers, extensions, and claim ID numbers. Then I've squandered many minutes going through the State Farm automated phone menu to punch in the extension number, only to be misdirected to a switchboard or informed that the claim investigator was out of the office. She seems to be calling from a blocked number outside of office hours. Leaving her a message isn't possible. So I'm just going to put it out here in cyberspace: It was the kid on the bike's fault. The accident was entirely preventable. If you want my help, don't waste my time.