So, I try to access an online service, have to go through the talking bots, the choices- none of which is exactly what I’m looking for and eventually get to a human operator. Already it’s a tangled web I feel trapped in being herded, guided in a maze by faceless inhuman forces. This human has no face, only a voice.
It has no mind of its own either as I’m then led through a series of questions, generated randomly by another bot, purely it seems, to get me to give up my enquiry. Which to be fair, after 10-15 minutes seems one I can leave by the wayside I feel I’m on a useless quest on a parody of The Yellow Brick Road.
I’m left in limbo while the operator goes away “I’ll be just a couple of minutes. Apologise for keeping you waiting” but after 10- 12 minutes I’m still hanging on (at local landline rates mind),so I leave…
Afterwards I trail to the nearest branch of the organisation that is still open, on the offchance that I may get my issue dealt with, personally. But of course the branch is inundated with customers, and the staff are stretched to deal as it is. So there’s no help there either. The staff cannot comment on my experience as they weren’t there. I’m handed a brochure re: making a complaint. When I try it, it’s another call centre, waiting time only “about 5-6 minutes”
Why have we come to this point, how did the journey bring us, each and everyone who is -as we are everyday in our millions- in this unenviable yet unavoidable position, where a “customer” of a large organisation cannot get the service to which he/she (I’m very tempted to say ‘it’, as it feels I’m totally dehumanised by the process as set up here generally) is in theory and in the brochures and handouts, ENTITLED; as their/my end of the contract I enter into (terms and conditions are only appertaining to one side mind you)ANYMORE
This process of de-humanisation has moved so far beyond a parody; yet it’s our everyday experience. Mine is being repeated 24/7 up and down the country millions of times every week. What’s that cost to The Economy? Do we see thinktanks saying that’s something to address? No, it’s just the way it is: We have to “suck it up” (horrible phrase but so expressive)
There’s No Alternative- this is where we are, no choice despite having an apparent myriad at our hands/feet…Ironic doesnt describe it! There’s no escape because it suits these organisation to keep the customer serviced in this way.