Saturday, 19 January 2008

Phone rage

In occasional moments of life not spent working we've been trying to sort out our internet connection which since it was "improved" on January 5th now no longer exists at all! The joys of life in the modern post-service economy means that cock ups like this lead to hours spent on hold trying to follow the intricate sequence of pressing keys and getting our English-accented French accepted when answering electronic voice recognition questions. This morning I finally queued up at the so called "service provider's" shop (where I provided an excellent interpretation service for many of the anglophone clients!). After 45 minutes I was allowed to tell someone about the problem, they then spent some time filling in an online form to let some other office somewhere else know about our problem. I have the very strong feeling that any kind of solution is going to take quite a while yet. Last time we sent them an email it took five days to get a reply telling us to do the things we'd told them we'd already done. Meanwhile it's amazing how the direct debit to pay for these "services" never seems to get forgotten! Sorry about this, I'm having a "grumpy old Jane" moment.
And there's more from Computer Profesisonals for Social Responsibility on the post-service economy here and in the quote at the bottom. I'm rather sad that this was not an original thought of mine but as often an original thought many others have already had - in fact it post-service economy even is already a theory.
"Hirschl goes on to observe that we have moved past the "post-industrial" economy, and are now settling into a "post-service" economy. Labor-replacing technology, as it becomes more efficient and cheaper, invades the realm of service industries, across the board, from investment counseling to Taco Bells and cleaning services. So the pressure is on up and down the line, from executives to the least skilled clerk."