The 5 Stages of Grief Automated Voice Message System
Thank you for calling 1-800-MY-GRIEF. We’re sorry for your loss.
If you believe you have reached this number in error or that your friend or loved one cannot possibly be dead say “DENIAL” otherwise, press 1.
Gracias por llamar al 1-800-MY-GRIEF. Para Español, presione nueve.
You’ve pressed 1 is this correct?
Are you sure?
Great. You’re currently in a state of ANGER. Is this because we asked you to confirm if you pressed 1 twice?
Sorry, I didn’t get that: Are you experiencing ANGER because of the redundancy of this automated system or because you are in the second stage of grief known as ANGER?
If redundancy, press 1. If grief, press 2.
Great. You’re currently angry because a friend or loved one has passed away. Please stay on the line while we process that into our system…
…All done. Are you still there?
Great, sounds like you’ve been doing some processing of your own.
Now tell me: Would you do anything to bring your friend or loved one back? If so, say “BARGAINING”. You can also say, “I’M STILL ANGRY” or throw your phone out the window.
Sounds like you’re currently in a state of BARGAINING. Would you like to hear about exclusive travel deals from our sponsors?
Got it. We’ll still text you with those offers after this call.
Let’s try this: Are you replaying past events, wondering what you could have done differently? If so, press 1. If not, press 2.
You’ve pressed 1, is that correct?
Are you angry because we asked you to confirm pressing 1 again? You can be honest.
NO you don’t want to be honest, or NO you’re not angry? For avoiding honesty say “DENIAL”, for not angry say “BARGAINING”. You can also say “ANGRY AGAIN”.
Sounds like you are contemplating hypotheticals or past regrets. Are you sure you don’t want to hear about those exclusive offers from our sponsor? If you do, say—
1-800-MY-GRIEF has teamed up with CheapTravelToday.com to bring you—
Sorry, I didn’t get that.
Speak to a representative.
Sounds like you want to talk to someone, is that right?
Great, that’s why I’m here. Press “1” to confirm that you are still—
You’ve pressed 0. Is this because you’re trying to reach an actual human person?
We do not have those.
Are you feeling depressed? If yes, audibly sigh. You can also groan or stare blankly ahead.
Great, sounds like you are staring blankly ahead in a state of DEPRESSION. Is this because I do not have the ability to understand human emotion, or because a friend or loved one has passed away?
I get that. Sorry if I didn’t make it clear earlier. I’m a computer generated phone tree.
Do you accept this as true? You can say DENIAL or ACCEPT.
Sure thing. Sounds like you are in a state of ACCEPTANCE. If this is solely because you have accepted that I am constructed of 1’s and 0’s, press 1 or 0. If you have also accepted that your friend or loved one has passed away, press any other number.
Got it. Sounds like you understand I am not a real person, but are still having trouble accepting the recent loss of a friend or loved one. Is this right?
We’re sorry for your loss. One moment while we log that in our system…
…Ok. All done. Please stay on the line until a sense of acceptance washes over you.
This could take a while…
…Looks like you’re still on the line. Have you accepted that your friend or loved one has passed away yet?
Got it. For an automated call back in 24 hours, press 1. To talk to a living friend or loved one who can help you through this difficult time, dial any other number in your phone.
Thank you for calling 1-800-MY-GRIEF, presented by CheapTravelToday.com.
Hunter Gardner is a writer and comedian in Brooklyn. In addition to Weekly Humorist, his humor articles have also been published on McSweeney’s and Points In Case, among others. He has been a featured storyteller on PBS WORLD Channel’s Stories From The Stage and regularly produces sketch comedy with Hatched Media. He’s fun at parties but also loves to leave parties.