We have one where I work. So does my credit union, my doctor's office. And as I start to think about it, most places of business have them...

Automated phone answering systems.

And I hate them!

After I have been told from that system on the phone that I can dial my party's extension if I know it, I realize that I don't know any of those. So, let's get comfortable and listen to the options that I will have on my journey to getting to an actual living, breathing person.

And even that isn't guaranteed.

I've had instances where I sit through a rather lengthy list of options for which buttons I can press. After listening, I discover that none of those options fit my needs. So I am invited to leave a message; "somebody will get back to you".

I hate it, but I get it. It's hard to find employees these days. And automated systems work 24 hours a day and never call in sick. But I miss talking to real people when I call.

The reason I'm calling at the time is because I, the customer who is trying to spend money at your business, would like to talk to somebody, please.

It used to be called customer service. Heck, way back when, I'd get an occasional receptionist who thought that I was funny.

Not anymore. "Leave a message."

"We'll call you back when it's convenient for us."

"Deal with it."

That's why I always answer the phone in the control room at work.

Get our free mobile app

The only times I don't answer your call is because we are on the other line. Or we are on the air talking. Unlike a lot of radio and television stations, Paul and I don't prerecord any part of our show.

KEEP READING: 13 Businesses That Should Open a Location in Billings

It's not news anymore that Billings is a great place to start a business. Just look at the new businesses that have popped up in the last two years, and businesses are continuing to start or expand here. Even though just about any business would be great to have in our community, there are a few that we think Billings could use.

10 Ways to Spend $10,000 in Billings

Let's daydream for a minute on how you could spend $10K. Sure, you could put the money towards bills or pay off a credit card or auto loan balance but that would be far too responsible. Instead, let's spend that free cash on fun stuff! Here are 10 ideas on how you could spend $10,000 around Billings.