Friday, 14 December 2012

The Trouble with Automation

Where to begin. For those who aren't too squeamish, how about the moment I'm sitting on the toilet with my pants around my ankles and the phone rings. (For those who are squeamish, just skip that first bit.)

So of course, since Hubs is out with the kids and he could be calling to see if I want takeaway for supper, I rush to get was going to say shit together, but, well, you know, pants up, so I can answer it. I follow the sound of ringing*, trip over a couple cats and find the phone buried under the unfolded laundry on the bed (and just as an aside, all automation wouldn't be bad. For instance, an instamatic-laundry-fluff-and-fold I could get behind!)

And you're all thinking...wait for it...wait....yes, you've guessed it - cold-call telemarketer

Now this person is clearly calling because my name was on a list picked by some computer somewhere because my ipad plan with my carrier isn't the most expensive one they figure they can talk me into. I would be mildly annoyed with this cold-call, we-have-a-light-years-better-deal-for-you tactic if it wasn't the FIFTH time I've received this identical call in the past month and a half. Now my mood resembles mildly annoyed in the same sort of way my 17-yr-old house cat resembles a full grown Bengal tiger in his prime.

Why can this nefarious computer program that keeps drawing my name not flag my account as something more useful to the poor cold-callers, like pissed-off-she-devil-swearing-freak-head. DO NOT CALL? And yes, every time I get the call, I make sure to tell them to put a note on my account that I don't want their stinkin' "upgrade",  (half as much data for three times the price? Good deal. right. I'll jump right on that one. Oh. Wait NOT) and that they should please not cold call me anymore.

Or how about my attempts to get into my Photobucket account to which I have lost the password? They have a form for that, you know. Of course they do. A convenient email form linked to the email address that I opened the account with. That would be the email that got hacked and that I have since abandoned and can't get into any more. So they have a form for that, too, though. Huzzah!

After clicking my way through FAQs and forms and drop-down menus I find a ten question questionnaire to fill out. Like when did I open the account. Um...I don't know? six or seven years ago? and what's the email address associated with it so we can send you a new password....

Um, duh, the whole point of this particular form is that no, you can't send an email to that address because I can't get into that email...*eyeroll*

Anyway, I finally stumble my way through what are bound to be a dozen only half right answers to their questions and they send me an automated email saying:
Hello there!
***If you want to talk to a real live Photobucket Support Rep. just reply back to this email letting us know!***
This is the Photobucket Support Robot. I couldn't help but notice that you haven't tried the New Photobucket yet! I was wondering if you wanted to try it out to see if you like it and if it helps with any issues you are having. Simply click on this link: and you'll be able to log into the new site. You can opt out of the new site at any time. (emphasis mine)
Really? Really??? Needless to say, I replied to the email.

And finally, what about the client I spoke to the other day who didn't want to use the "outmoded" and "old-fashioned" technology required to fax me information, so could he please have the snail mail address of my work so he could mail the information to me? I felt like telling him no, you'll have to call the Pony Express for delivery, sir. We don't use regular post here.

 And don't even get me started on the plug in cordless phones with all the bells and whistles and displays that won't work during an emergency like, oh, I don't know, a power outage! I'll stick with  Alexander's good old original rotary black plastic, thanks. For as long as land lines remain in existence, anyway....

*Autocorrect, another fine automated feature, changed my typo: "I followed the sound of rining..." to: "I followed the sound of rimming..." Yes. Autocorrect, how my homoerotic brain loves you...

So yeah. Sometimes, where technology is involved, less is more, ya know? Do you have stories of technology gone stupid? Share!


Anthology Authors said...

I sure do. I sent a text to someone the other day and it had changed a word to Catholic. The message was this:

The tests showed I had slipped into a catholic state which makes me susceptible to bacteria and fungal infections.

Charlie and I found this incredibly funny. Catholic state. HAHAHAHAHA

We have the Uverse phone system. Charlie's hip on this. Me? If the power goes out, we are screwed. I want my landline back. Power rarely goes out, but, you know, the day that big one hits, he'll be telling me I was right. (g)


Anthology Authors said...

Mail is newer than faxing? AHAHAHAHAHAHA That's a good one. HAHAHAHAHA