Very few companies employ receptionists or switch board operators any longer. Automated attendants have been "answering" the phones for many years now - even prior to our economy going south. Some of them are pretty simple: For directions, press 1; for operation hours, press 2; for accounts receivable, press 3; for deliveries, press 4. Some are not so friendly: press 1 if your service is out. I press 1. Next message: please enter your account number. I enter it. Next message: enter your zip code. And on, and on it goes. Sometimes I have been in this pattern for 3 or 4 minutes before getting to speak to a "live" person. Then there are the times when you can only leave a message. Am I the only one to find this irritating?
Check out this website: gethuman.com. Finally someone has cracked the codes for over a thousand companies. I haven't had the occasion to try any of these numbers yet, but here's hope.