Computers. AGGHHHH!

I make my living using a computer, but sometimes I get so aggravated with our computer-driven world that I could scream. Or throw the nearest hurlable object through my office window. Or both. Plus stamp my foot like Scarlett O'Hara and throw one heck of a hissy fit. We southern women are expert when it comes to a good hissy fit.

Computers are supposed to make life easier, not a constant aggravation. When I was a kid, life was imagined on many a television show about the paradise computers would create. They would free us from the mundane. They would make all our history and important records available with the flick of the hand. Ah, how naive our society was then.

Basic Flaw

There was just one thing wrong with that vision of a technological paradise. Computers aren't self-aware. They must have information entered by a human being. Human Being, n., a self-aware entity in the post-modern world who inputs data and/or handles other human beings who call an 800 number because there are mistakes on their computerized records.

Stuck Between a Computer and a Hard Place

Woe be to the poor consumer who has encountered a computer error in an account. Don't even think you get a Reference Number for your complaint that has been carefully logged so the poor human doesn't have to call the same 800 number as millions of other poor humans and go through voice prompts just to get a different person every time who then asks you to recount your problem--which you do--and who then says they will make a note about your call so the situation will be resolved.

At this point in the conversation, I envision the oh-so-polite customer service rep holding a hand over the phone so you won't hear them busting a gut laughing while they wave an imaginary wand in the air rather than keying in an intelligent note regarding your call.

Tequila, Handguns, or Computers

Mitch Ratcliffe said: "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history--with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila."

Ah, but, remember, that computer is operated by a person.

Takeaway Truth

I have a proposal for every corporation that employs data input personnel, 800 customer service lines, and customer service reps. The entire Board of Directors and Executive Management should be sentenced to 6 months of computer foul-ups with no recourse except to call the 800 number for resolution. And get a different rep each time they call.

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