Tag Archives: support

Buzzards Inc.

It finally happened. With the exception of local stores, like your favorite restaurant, fabric, hardware,  or your mechanic, all large companies are beginning to blur in my mind. I cannot seem to tell them apart.

Whether it is a company that produces products for the utility sector, home and automobile insurance, or specialized software for government, to me, they might as well just be one large company. Their behavior seems to be merging into a set of common behaviors.

Here are some of the telltale signs this is happening.

  1. It is almost impossible to reach someone on the phone. Most companies have had phone menus for many years, but now, these menus seem protected with nearly impenetrable armor. You’ll be prompted with questions to get you past a checkpoint. Some of these questions could easily be used on Jeopardy.
  2. To solve a problem, like you want some information sent by mail, you are presented with impossibilities that would give master players of the original Adventure game fits. You are told that this other department cannot send you that information, because they cannot see it.
  3. Support personnel are reading from a script: “Well, you need to adjust the spark advance and fuel mixture.” Your car does not have settings for spark and fuel, but a 1926 Rolls Royce might.

So, I am thinking it might just be easier to have one company with a suitable name. The Three Stooges had the right idea, with Panther Brewing Company, A Panther President.

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Welcome To The Automat

When I was a kid, I got to eat at a Horn & Hardart Automat restaurant in New York City. It was a pretty cool experience, shoving coins into slots and getting food in return. I was not old enough to appreciate good hot coffee, one of The Automat’s specialities.

http://www.theautomat.net/.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automat

At the time I experienced The Automat, the bloom was well off the rose. I did not know that, but. Horn and Hardart’s business was in decline, and the company was sold in 1991. However, the concept was still pretty cool, at least to a kid, at least to me.

Here we are in the present, and after a couple of weeks of dealing with vendors and support organizations, I realize life has become self-serve, kind of like the Automat. But we are not in the original Automat with its grandeur, but the pale version I experienced as a kid.

You might think my analogy is going to go something like you put in coins and get bad pie and cold coffee. I wish.

It is more like you put in coins; push good pie and hot coffee in the opposite direction, so the knuckleheads on the other side of the wall can be convinced to do their job and slide bad pie and cold coffee back to you. You feel like you were better off not putting any coins in at all.

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