Wednesday, May 02, 2007
How Can I Provide You With Excellent Service Today?
While I enjoyed the mimosas and crab-cakes-eggs-benedict mornings on the days in which my interwebs were tangled, I know in my heart of hearts that I missed out on some really great stuff being blog-incommunicado. I missed the lively, restrained, dignified debates sparked off by the Don Imus thing that finally--FINALLY!--settled for us definitively the questions of race, political correctness and free speech.

I mean, my God, Imus AND Sharpton. Two of the world's best examples of surviving mullets still alive in captivity and I missed it; the Great Hair-Off '07 and I was down with a pulled digital hammy. I don't think I will ever be able to forgive myself.

No, you know what, I should know by now that I shouldn't underestimate my capacity for self-forgiveness. I find in general that it isn't all that difficult to convince me to see my side of the story.

Really mostly it was the people at AT&T who fucked everything up for me in the short term.

OK that really wasn't fair. I would like to offer a public apology to the people at AT&T Broadband who stayed on the phone with me patiently, over a dozen times, expending many many man-hours in order to eventually not fix my problem. For that I'm sorry, AT&T. I'm very sorry you are not very good and don't really provide a lot of the services you promise. Also, a lot of your people are kind of dicks.

That said, I did get a few laughs out of talking to "Antonio" with the Peoria-by-way-of-Gujarat accent. Or "Mary" who, bless 'er, couldn't manage to not soft-trill her Rs or replicate a flattened Midwestern American-neutral nasaly O sound for the life of her.

And for those of you who would find racism in the above sentence, listen, it's not the fact that they're clearly South Asian or their accents in particular that amuse me. It's just the pretense of trying have them play at being American as if a) they could or would even desire to pull it off in the first place or b) we would be fooled into happy consumer complacency by it is the most comically wrongheaded corporate misadventure since the last time the Cuyahoga River caught on fire.

But enjoy it while you can, America, because if I know anything, it's that even if it's 50 years too late, corporations eventually see the errors of their ways and take all the fun out of their being socially and ethically retarded. What do the people in Cleveland have now? Clean river, clean lake, water that when a match is dropped into it, unremarkably extinguishes said match. And all that took was thirty years of government oversight and strict enforcement of existing environmental laws. So see, eventually companies "get it".

AT&T Broadband Tech Support will "get it" one day too and that will be a sad day. One day "Mary" will be free to go back to being Rupinder or Saraswati... and be out of work, supplanted by a new generation of Indian tech-support desk-slaves reared under a more forward-looking AT&T policy emphasizing truth-in-advertising where Indian parents sell their children's naming rights away at birth. "Mary" might still have the accent, but by Jove, she will really be a Mary. Beautiful little Mary Catherine Lo-Cost Hi-Speed DSL Service Singh, lover of poetry and ponies and fancy dress parties and providing you with the same quality substandard service in exchange for a handful of rupees and all the ethernet cable she can eat.

Corporations today are like Columbus in 1492, except instead of Jesus and smallpox, they bring skilled-labor training and a reasonable reduction in overhead. I hope it all works out for them as well as the first thing worked out for Spain.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.6


PS- Click on link: I did not write this. The Onion's access to mind-reading technology, however, frightens me a little.



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