We've all heard this line ... often over and over again for 5, 10, 15 even up to 45 minutes when you make the mistake of calling a company about a problem, even your doctor ... "Please hold. Your call is very important to us. However, we are experiencing a larger call volume than usual. Please hold. We will take your call in the order it was received. Thank you for your patience." Then after say, 10 - 15 minutes of waiting comes this line, "All our representatives are still busy helping other callers. Your call is important to us, please leave a number so that we can return your call shortly." And, they never, ever do.
Even worse is how they now try to shuffle you off to the Internet where 1: you can't even get on the internet; that's why you're calling Time Warner, or 2: what you need is on the 5th screen hidden deep down on an Internet page that is longer than anything that can be published in tiny type buried in another line and you simply can't find it. Been there too?
This folks is design ... design to discourage. In the past I have finally given up and literally gone to the place I needed to contact in less time than the time I spent holding. They are startled at that and often fall all over themselves to get you, by now irate and angry, out the door.
|Unlike Ernestine on LAUGH-IN, this operator put you through.|
Service has never been as poor as it is today (well it was pretty awful before the wall fell in eastern Europe too). I have been to service centers, Spectrum, even the doctor's office, heard the phone ring and one of two things happen; they stop helping you to get the call and then are on that call 5 minutes, or more often, ignore the call and do what they were doing.
When I was a kid, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth in the 1950's, someone always answered the phone and you were transferred to the person you needed, if they were there. If not, a message was taken. In the 60's and 70's you checked out of the office and when you returned a sheaf of pink slips had messages of those who had called when you were out. They expected you to call back, too. And we did.
Today robots answer phones and most of those messages are clearly ignored. A pink message slip makes you feel guilty, ignoring a blinking light or even not bothering to check your messages seems to be the standard of the day. I found, before I retired, that I had to do two jobs: my job and their's bugging them to do what I had wanted. To be fair, in the drive for profits and CEO salaries, companies do everything they can to save a penny so fewer employees do double or triple the work than was expected of them 50 years ago. If a real person answers the phone, I praise them and their company for caring enough to help me without having to wait. Time is my money too!
In fact, the more companies talk about how important YOU are on TV, the radio, the Internet and printed advertising, the worse the problem has become. In fact, for many of them, including our government ... city, county, state, federal, service has gotten far, FAR worse.
A case in point was today in my condo complex in Palm Springs. Last year after the old management company was kicked out for mismanagement the HOA board choose Desert Resort Management, a division of Associa, as their new management company. They found many, many problems inherited from the old management company but while I was still a renter, who had no vote or voice, there were many questions about the new company. At HOA meetings I could attend as an owner the DRM representative spent her time on her cell phone and rarely had the information asked for a month or two before. This year the problem became worse. The first one was replaced. Suddenly we had another representative, then another, and last month another. Late Friday afternoon board members, I am now one, were emailed a note that took more than a day for me to receive, that we were going to get yet another representative.
A search of the Internet on this company gives a very different picture from the one they paint. In fact they are huge, managing over 9,000 properties. They made front page news in the valley recently when one of their employees siphoned over $100,000 from a petty cash account at one of the properties they manage.
In a continuing and startling allegation of McKesson Pharmaceuticals last night on "60 Minutes" who with the Washington Post, CBS and retired employees of the DEA discussed McKesson's fueling the opioid epidemic and the government's refusal to prosecute. Past episodes regarding malfeasance of big banks, utilities, auto companies and much more, the common answer to these problems and yes, criminal activities, including property management companies, is that they are "too big to fail." Really? Is anything so big that if it fails the world ends? I would say that with this attitude the "End of Days" is nearer than we think. In fact, I would recommend CEO's and a great many of our government employees read Gibbons THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. In fact I would posit that many, many companies are too big and should be broken up or allowed to fail. The demand of profits over people, over service, is rapidly reaching a breaking point.
|In fact, we have reached the perfect storm; new board members, new and unknown representative and the holidays.|
Somewhere we as a nation have lost our way. Republicans wrap their selves in a flag spouting freedom and human rights as they give the rich more, then literally take food and medicine from the nations poor adding they are Christians. Democrats offer a vision of a world that doesn't exist anymore and when their "heroes" go amuck say they are "icons" and refuse to believe claims against them. Unfortunately I have a very different view of the gospels and they don't include either of these tenets.
Differences of opinion have prevailed even before July 4, 1776. In fact they went on with mother England before the first sailing to the New World. Heavens, the Vice President of the United States had a dueling match with the Secretary of the Treasury and killed him. We fought a Civil War that was anything but civil, that killed 15% of the nation's population. To watch the news recently, it appears that the war there is still being fought.
The citizens of the United States need to pause ... from the wealthiest to the poorest, as well as all government leaders, and take stock of who we as a people are. Do the words that grace the Statue of Liberty have any meaning or is that yet another casualty of freedom? What is freedom? I would note that the Constitution was written over 230 years ago while we live in a world the Founding Fathers could never, ever imagine. It doesn't hurt anyone to say thank you or to be kind. The wealthy don't need more. Health care is a right, not a priviledge. The stress of the modern world is of our owning making, yes, our own design. We need to inculcate service into our children and ourselves so that we will be willing and yes, eager, to serve others and not take more than we need. No, I am not preaching for a socialist Utopia, I am asking for common courtesy and decency.
We designed this thing, maybe the time has come, finally, to design another.
Thank you for reading my blog. I invite you to take the time to read earlier blogs where the emphasis is to explore the ways art and design affects our daily lives ... and always has. I share with you what inspires me with the hope that it will inspire you as well. Comments are always welcomed! Be sure to check my re-opened ETSY store ... KrugsStudio.etsy.com. Many of the items talked about here are for sale there!