Continuing my train of thought about humans and computers, I have realized that home-computer-owning humans aren’t always entirely to blame for their temper tantrums. While they do get cross of their own accord, there is also an element of raw and hopeless despair in the knowledge that a service that is supposed to save them in situation like these will most likely a) put them on hold, b) be engaged for hours, c) be surly and unhelpful, d) sound falsely bright and happy while still not being helpful, or e) talk jargon till the cows come home. Yes; computer-help call centres. The pivot of the computer-literate population’s frustrations. About a month ago I heard a human saying to another “I just got off the phone from [computer help place that remains nameless] and I am so angry!” Fair enough – considering what I have heard of such centres. I’ve been amusing myself wondering how the job interviews selecting people to answer calls run.
Employer: Will you talk technical jargon when it’s clear that the caller wouldn’t be calling if he/she knew as much as you do? Interviewee: Certainly. Try and stop me. Employer: Excellent.
Employer: Will you not make sense while stubbornly pretending you are making sense? Interviewee: Yes, Sir/Madame. Employer: Very good.
Employer: How long would you be prepared put a caller on hold for? Interviewee: About two to six hours, I should say. Employer: Magnificent.
Of course there would be rejections;
“Unfortunately, you make too much sense.” or, “You sound far too genuine when you say thank you for calling” or, “You’re simply too helpful.”
This is not to say there are no good call centres or workers, but I have observed – and as you may know, my observations are very astute – that the vast majority of computer help call centres tend to be anything but helpful to despairing home computer owners having seizures on the other end of the line.