It went on like that for a while, while I tried to handle my frustration by imagining the conversation as a moment in text-based Adventure, trying endless variations on Open door and Turn Key and Put Key In Lock because I knew there would be something great on the other side. Eventually, I would be able to use these airline credits for free flights on a free flight, right? That’s what’s behind this door, if I can just find the way to get is open.
I thought about that old chat-game Eliza, that would parse text entries, and seize on one word, and then make a sentence using that word. It was pretty exciting at the time, and brought to mind the science-fiction possibility of someday having artificial intelligence completely indistinguishable from a real human being! I don’t think the intention was customer service failing a Turing test, though.