June 20, 2007
Real men need real lies, not fake lies!
Twice in a week now, I've had problems with my cell phone when the local tower has been down because of thunderstorms.
I'm not as patient as I should be, but I do realize that being asked a litany of idiotic questions is part of the tech support process. So is being put on hold.
It's not being on hold that irritates me enough to write a post about it. If all they did was put me on hold, I could handle it. I'd "take it like a man" or whatever male humans are supposed to do these days.
In fact, I'm such a "real man" that over the years I have learned to tolerate the terrible hold music they play.
And you know, looking at this as an amateur classicist, I can always remind myself that if the 300 could hold at Thermopylae, then I ought to be able to hold for my customer service.
Why, if I steel myself further, and really tap into the hidden reserves of my manly Stoicism, I can even tolerate the insults to my intelligence by condescending phraseology read from a bureaucratic script.
So, I have learned to tolerate the long periods on hold, the smarmy musical torture, and the idiotic phrases. The final insult to injury -- the thing that makes my manliness founder -- is when I have to submit to having my intelligence insulted not by men, but by machinery playing automated messages like these:
"Because of the personal attention we are giving your case...."Over and over again they play this stuff -- in voices much louder than the actual humans so that they cannot be ignored (or excused as humans can be for reading from a script they've been ordered to read).
These are not people. By definition, they cannot be sincere. They cannot state truthfully that they are working hard on anything or giving personal attention to it. The voices are, simply, robotic lies.
So go ahead, ask me condescending questions! Put me on hold! Even play your awful music.
But for the sake of the immortal gods, please stop the automated insults to my intelligence!
A more disturbing question is whether machines are capable of lying, or whether their lies and insincerity are to be attributed to their creators.
But I have no time for a philosophical post; for now, I just wish they'd just add a "turn off the fake lies" button.
UPDATE: Thank you, Glenn Reynolds for the link, and welcome all!
I agree with Glenn that "the Spartans wouldn't have taken kindly to modern customer-relations techniques." From what I've read, they didn't take kindly to Oracle public relations.....
AND MORE (6/21/07 -- 2:38 p.m.): It is now a full 28 hours after writing this post, and the cell phone tower is still down.
Now I'm really thinking of going Spartan on 'em.
I don't have a Spartan sword, but I do have a Roman gladiolum.
posted by Eric on 06.20.07 at 10:14 AM
Search the Site
Classics To Go
See more archives here
Old (Blogspot) archives
A knee sock jihad might be premature at this time
People Are Not Rational
No Biorobots For Japan
The Thorium Solution
Radiation Detector From A Digital Camera
This war of attrition is driving me bananas!
Attacking Christianity is one thing, but must they butcher geometry?
Are there trashy distinctions in freedom of expression?
Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood