Bring Back The Humans....... PLEASE!

Over the past few years, while I've lounged about on my Six Year Holiday I have somehow managed to overcome my fear of all things electronic and our home PC has become my friend. It was bought, on my insistence, at the start of said six year holiday career break and it has gone from being something that was fitted in around my housewifely duties to taking prime position in the order of my daily to-do-lists!

I am (despite what my show-pal thinks) a technophobe but I have learned a lot over these past few years. Enough, in fact, to fool those who are not as computer-attached as I, to think that I know what I'm doing. Most things I do happen by accident..... in fact I first started blogging (nearly two years ago now) totally by accident! Yup...I went to comment on Hammie's blog, didn't know what I was doing, clicked the wrong key and Hey Presto the rest is blogging history!! Snigger!!

However, there are other electronic contraptions and devices that I despise! I can't use them you see....... they do NOT like me. At all. And I don't like them as they make me talk to them. In public.

Human's are being replaced by electronic machines and I do not like it. I do not like it at all.

I mean, back in the 1980's customer service training was completely unheard of. Just think Dublin Bus. Or C.I.E as it was known as then (they even had Conductors in my day!). Oh..... dear......GOD. They were dreadful! So were a lot of retail shops and Government Departments. But then Customer Service become so in vogue...Dahling.... and we just absolutely have to have it.... Dahling. So we got it, in spades. It was so nice to go shopping (mostly) and even our Government Departments bought into the whole Customer Service Training lark, and rightly so. My bosses in The Revenue Dept totally bought into it.......   in fact "Taxpayers" soon became known as "Customers." Which I've always found a bit strange as being a "customer" implies that you've made a choice. Think I'll tell my Tax Office that I'm taking my custom elsewhere so!

So, after spending loadsa dosh training people to serve customers better what do they do?? They replace Humans with machines to get the jobs done faster....or to cover when there's no Human available to:

ANSWER THE PHONES......

Oh come on, I can't be the only one who HATES getting the machine instead of the human when you ring a large company? Don't you hate being on hold like forever, and getting these automated menus?



Please press 1 if you want Technical services.                       


Please press 2 if you want Sales.


An so on. All the while I'm screaming at the phone "I want the Human!!!" You see they've even gotten rid of the Human choice on the menu! Have you noticed that? Where's the:

Press 870 if you want the operator. (OK...I've exaggerated the number of menu choices here!)

or

Please hold and an Agent will be with you shortly. (follows after all previous 869 choices!).

These options are no longer there.... hence the "I want the Human" wail from yours truly.

I solved that problem last week when I had to ring eflow. I had forgotten to pay my toll fees the previous week when I had taken the scenic route around the M50 trying to find Coolock (I'd only lived there for about 30 years!) They went and changed everything when I wasn't looking you see, so a manic mother was motoring in circles around the M50 wailing "I want Coolock". Understandable how I forgot to pay the toll fees!

Anyway, there I was on the eflow automaton phone, no "Human" choice so I pressed a number.....ANY number:

AGENT: Hello, how can I help you?

ME: Well, I'm probably not onto the right section but I wanted to speak to The Human so I pressed a  number and got one....YOU!

AGENT: Hahahahaha.... that's no problem....... hahahaha!

Well, at least it worked! However the sob story about my M50 meanderings didn't, so I had to cough up!!


Of course, there's one automated phone system that's voice-activated...... Eircom. It's funny when you get to speak the Yes or No answers but absolutely hilarious when you get to verbalize your menu choices. Especially when you wail the familiar "I want The Human!!" into the phone and you get:

That wasn't a recognised option. Please choose from the following options...... (as they proceed from the beginning again!)

Aaaarrggghhh!!!



SELL YOU YOUR DART TICKET........


"The Human" (A.K.A The Man) isn't at the desk, my train is coming in five and I need a ticket...... today like!

I frantically look behind the perspex (maybe he's hiding under the desk??) for "The Man" but uh, uh..... he ain't there.

Then I look fearfully at that horrible Automated Machine thing looming up in front of me. It's laughing at me...... I know it is. It's an evil "AH-"Hahahaha...... I don't like you and I'm going to confuse you" laugh.

So, I edge closer all the while saying "Where's The Man.... I need The Man".

Out loud and in public.

But I don't care! I can't use these damn machines!





I click buttons and make choices. Sometimes, only sometimes mind, I  actually manage to get a ticket (for me..... I have yet to figure out how to get a child ticket???) Usually I don't get a ticket and get on the train without one. I pay when I get off and am quite prepared to stand my ground if challenged by an Inspector. I can flutter my eyelashes and play the dumbo card as much as the next person, I'll have you know!

But sometimes "The Man" appears mid transaction and saves the day. Actually, I believe he hears my wails for help and abandons his cuppa to shut me up!

(Note: I have also been known to wail "I want The Man..... where's The Man?" when in labour and desperately seeking epidurals (yes-plural!). But that's a whole other story!!!)


CHECK-OUT YOUR PURCHASES...........                                                 


You do know where I'm going with this one, don't you?!!!

Now these machines are my absolute bug-bear. I hate them and they clearly hate me right back. I avoid them as much as possible, as any of my transactions with them are usually a complete disaster. Machines see me coming you see, and they breakdown on sight of me..... just ask the school's photocopying machine if you don't believe me! 


My relationship with the self-service check-out machine came to a complete head yesterday when I had an out and out stand up row with one whilst shopping in Superquinn.


Out loud and in public.  

Groan...............

Well, it wasn't me....... The Android started it..... 


It all began when I stood between check-out and self-service. Which will I go for, I pondered ..... The Human or the Android stupid machine thing? I was feeling brave (or suicidal) and I chose.... The Android!


The problem was that I stupidly decided to put a bag in the "bagging area" (I mean, who on earth would think of doing such a stupid thing) and the "conversation" went something like this.........


ANDROID: There is an item in the bagging Area, please remove before continuing...


ME            : Yeah.... it's called a bag!


I moved the bag and tried to place it differently.....


A: There is an item in the Bagging Area, please remove before continuing...


M: Oh Shut up, you damn machine!


I demonstrably, in Diva fashion removed the bag and "continued with my purchases".....


M: Now..... you happy?

All went well for the next few purchases but, as was bound to happen, I ran out of space for my purchases and one teeny-weeny item toppled ever so slightly over the invisible boundary.....

A: There is an item  in the Bagging Area, please....... 

M: Ah for Godsakes....first you won't let me use a bag and now your complaining again?? 

Then I scrunched the items in and tried to continue....no joy. So I, again very demonstrably and with lots of accompanying sighs and groans, DUMPED my shopping bag on the floor and THREW my "purchases" in !
But when I went to pay I couldn't. Why??


BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE BAGGING AREA!!


M: Oh you DAMN machine........ I need a Human......

So, ignoring the rather large queue building up behind me, I turned to the nearest Human checkout person and asked for  Human assistance.

Even the Human Assistant couldn't figure it out at first!! 

In the visual instructions on the Android there is a perfect bag placed in the perfect Bagging Area which doesn't touch the ground.


I used the wrong bag you see. Silly me...... I would have to go and use a SUPERQUINN BAG....... IN A SUPERQUINN self-service Android stupid machine!!


Well..... I won't be making that mistake again!


It's over. My relationship with self-service checkout machines has come to an end. It is NOT mutual and we will NOT remain friends!

My relationship with my computer on the other hand, whilst a tad fiery at times, remains intact.


There is a recession on. Humans are unemployed in hundreds of thousands, so.........


BRING BACK THE HUMANS.......... PLEASE!!

Before the men in white coats come to take me away for talking to machines....... in public!

xx Jazzy 

10 comments:

  1. Love it Jazzy! I get the 'Oh Mum!' and rolled eyes from my teen anytime anything like that happens to me. She, of course, loves the self-service shopping.

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  2. Lol. I am not a technophobe by any means, but I truly hate those automated answering systems, they NEVER have the right option for me. Then again, they are often more polite than some of the 'customer service' people I have spoken too. Lol again at Taxpayer/customer reference, so true :D Jen. PS LOVE LOVE LOVE the new look, very YOU :D:D

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  3. I am usually alone when these things happen BLUE SKY so it's even worse!! WiiBoy likes machines too.... I must get him to figure them out and then teach me! Thank you for commenting. You are always one of the first to comment so thank you :)) I'm always behind on the comments but I will try to improve!

    You are FAR from a technophobe JEN! Yes, it's true the quality of customer service has been reducing. When jobs were thick on the ground and young people could move freely from job to job on a whim they developed a CBA (couldn't be arsed) attitude!

    Glad you like the look.... I couldn't have done it without you! Thanks for your help in uploading it! I owe ya.... big time! And thank you for your comment....you other early commenter you!

    xx Jazzy

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  4. Love this post...I live in fear of those ticket machines at the Luas, but luckily we don't have much need for them in the sticks.
    the squillions of "options" when you call a company drives me bananas too.
    hey, love the groovy new look! xxx

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  5. Loving the new look, my pet hate is automated machines and like you they seem to know when I approach them as I go into a cold sweat lol, I particularly hate those bloody self service machines in most supermarkets now. Great blog. xxx

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  6. HAHA! Thanks for the laugh..I am glad..so very glad that I am not the only one who talks..or yells at machines..Perhaps we ought to start a support group? Your epidural story-now that is one I want to hear...I offered to drive to the anesthesiologists house when I was having my first..;0
    I always press the wrong numbers on the automated phone calls...and I keep pressing them-it is my effort to confuse the machine until it has no choice but to direct me to a human!

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  7. Thanks JEAN! Bet you have stupid supermarket Android thingies too though!

    Glad I'm not alone ANDRA! Thanks for comment.

    Thank you KATHLEEN...oh you do NOT wanna hear THAT story! At one stage I clutched his hand (think I was trying to get the drugs into me faster!!) and he said "no, you do NOT want to hold MY hand" i.e...."Get her away from me"!!

    Yes...we do need a support group...great suggestion!

    Thanks for the comments on my new look! I'm feelin' all Jazzed up!!

    xx Jazzy

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  8. Jazzy, you had me in stiches laughing, at almost every paragraph.... Worst thing: I identified with you in most places.

    Must remember the trick of pressing any number and saying I just wanted to talk to the Human.

    Love the new look to, very... well... jazzy like!

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  9. Funny, I just used one of those self-checkout machines at the store today and had the same trouble with the "place item in bagging area" issue!

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  10. Hehehe....thanks NAN P, so glad it made you laugh! Sure, we have to have a laugh don't we?! Glad you like my new look also...thanks!

    Thanks TANYA, it is good to know I'm not alone and that the problem is worldwide!!

    xx Jazzy

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