Monday, April 26, 2004

I am replete with destructive feelings towards all customer service operatives, customer centres, helpdesks and anyone else who professes to give assistance, but is actually obstructive.

So I'm phoning my 175th IT Director of the month - don't even ask, OK - and there's a couple of big companies, where if you ask for the IT Director, even by name, they put you through to some poxy "customer centre" where they'll take a message, and he - invariably male - will call you back.

Just now, someone said to me "and would you like to offer your services to [large multinational corporation] today?"

Er, no, I just want to invite him to give a keynote address at a conference.

"So, what is the nature of your service, ma'am?"

I don't have a service, I just want to speak to him. Can I have the switchboard number (unavailable all over the internet, hence stupid customer call)?

"No, we don't make the switchboard number available. We're happy to help you through the customer centre, here today. What is the nature of your call?"

Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeez. Sheeesh. In the future, we'll probably all talk like this: sellotaped together snippits of sentences that once meant something, but now are the meaningless white noise of doing business in the twenty-first century.

Actually, not even doing business. You just want to get a new phone line, and you have to jump through seventeen hoops of calls.

I want to be like that bloke who doesn't have a phone, and if you want to reach him, you have to fax his mother.

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