Telephonic Blues

When I got up this morning I discovered that both voice and the Internet had gone out sometime during the night. I don’t own a cell phone, and even if I did, there is no coverage out here in the Far Outback. So I just hung around, watching episodes of Firefly and waiting for service to return.

In the middle of the afternoon I got tired of waiting, and drove five miles to the house of the lady who cuts my hair to see if her phone was working. It was, so I called technical support. After going through interminable numeric touch-tone menus, I was finally able to talk to a human being, albeit one with a thick South Asian accent. He told me that there was a local area outage, and the estimated time for restoration of service was 5pm EDT. That turned out to be a little optimistic — phone and Internet service didn’t return until almost 8pm. And now I’m catching up.

It made me nostalgic for the good old days when you could call the phone company and immediately talk to a native English-speaker. And not just an American, but one with the distinctive accent of the Central Virginia Piedmont. Or better yet, I could drive less than forty miles and make myself a nuisance to the receptionist in the main office of the phone company until I got some useful information.

Alas, those days are long gone. That little regional company was bought by a larger company in the early 1980s. That company in turn was gobbled up by an even larger company, and the process was repeated several more times in the ensuing years. The last merger occurred just a few months ago, and the service is distinctly worse than it used to be. To add insult to injury, I have to call people in Karachi or Dhaka for tech support, and I often find them very hard to understand.


7 thoughts on “Telephonic Blues

  1. one of my friends used to work as a director of a call center of a mobile phone operator, he was directing over 1000 people +, and he quit because – as he said: “I have 1000 people on the phones who order 10 technicians who actually solve customer’s troubles, and I can’t do this anymore – I can’t work as a director over disfunctional arrangement”.

    So – now you have to go through interminable numeric touch-tone menus, and when you finally speak to someone, they are still, more than likely, utterly useless – because they can only talk.

  2. “It made me nostalgic for the good old days when you could call the phone company and immediately talk to a native English-speaker.”

    I’d enjoy the status quo because I reckon it won’t be too much longer ’til we’ll all be forced to “Press 2 for English”; and “Press 1 for English” will be remembered as the good ol’ days…

  3. I filled up at a petrol station with a convenience store attached yesterday, here in England. The store entrance was closed, while a polite but useless Indian guy took payments via a window onto the forecourt.
    Two customers ahead of me in the queue/line, a woman was attempting to purchase cat food, which would save her a long detour to a supermarket on the way home.
    After repeatedly saying ‘Cat. Cat food’ through the window and watching him return with tins of beans and other sundry items four times, the backlog of motorists was growing.
    Finally, I suggested we all do animal impressions and make ‘meowing’ noises. The penny dropped and the Indian found something useful.
    I commented, “It’s great when you need a translator in your own country, isn’t it?”

    • “Two customers ahead of me in the queue/line, a woman was attempting to purchase cat food, which would save her a long detour to a supermarket on the way home.
      After repeatedly saying ‘Cat. Cat food’ through the window and watching him return with tins of beans and other sundry items four times, the backlog of motorists was growing.”

      Recently, I had a similar experience searching for “eggs” at a local 7-Eleven, which was manned by recently imported ILLEGALS from the middle east.
      Aloha Snackbar, y’all!!

  4. “You do not have a cell phone, do you?”, an interviewer asked Rupert Sheldrake, Cambridge don and challenger of scientific dogmas, “Why is that?”
    “I don’t want to be interrupted”.

  5. .
    Seldom has GoV Newsfeed’s Leave a reply (8 or more),

    so appropriate, in the news drought, contained so ‘much’ interesting stuff, as

    this time.

    It’s just a matter of getting to read it.

    Col. MacGregor means that the Moscow vs. Washington war is lost
    and almost over for the West!

    May it be so, considering the bloodshed.

    And last but not least, many thanks to the Baron for his kind clean-up.

  6. The longing for the old days is something we all recognize.
    When I visit my native town, which I left only 40 year ago, the only thing I can still recognize is some of the buildings and the street plan (although, even that has become subject to change recently). All the shops and cafes I used to visit are gone, replaced by franchises of big multinational corporations or businesses of foreign alien cultures.
    I struggle to find someone under 50 who can still speak the dialect of my city.
    Most faces in the streets are brown, non-European. 40 years ago, more than 95% was white European, of which the overall majority locals. Churches are closed, turned into musea at its best (the ones that have architectonic value), the other ones are turned into sport halls, offices, discotheques or… mosques, or they have been torn down.
    Mosques have risen everywhere . 40 years ago there were none in my town.
    Globalization is a curse, there is nothing positive about it, in spite of official propaganda that promotes it. Basically, it’s a constant and orchestrated transfer of wealth from the poorer citizens of the “richer” countries to the cosmopolitan elite and the elites of the so-called “emerging” countries.
    In the West we had managed to built societies in which the majority of citizens could survive well, and those who were truly ambitious and worked hard could also thrive and succeed.
    Other societies could have done the same, but instead their elites decided to become parasitical of the fruits of our civilisation, thereby eagerly assisted by the Western elites, for whom it meant big profit. They did not care that their “own” citizens would suffer from the result of this destructive process.
    The scientific genius of the Western mind created technology, which improved the lives of human beings everywhere in the world.
    However, when things are taken too far, it turns out into its opposite, which is what happened with Western-based modern technology.
    When the digital stage was reached, it made globalisation possible, for the first time ever in history. In comparison, the Roman Empire, Chinese Empire, Soviet Empire were still local, even though they covered a large area and different cultures, while the British and French Empires, as well as the American Empire until around the year 2000, were geographically too dispersed to be able to control the entire world. Furthermore, the absence of modern technology made control even of its own citizens difficult.
    But since the introduction of digital technology, we face massive outsourcing of our jobs to so-called “Third World” countries, so that the basis of our wealth is constantly being eroded.
    At the same time we also face mass-migration from alien and often hostile cultures who are geographically not in our neighbourhood, because everyone, even in the jungle of darkest Africa, owns a smartphone nowadays, through which they can view the (manipulated and photo-shopped) images of the “rich” West, with directions on how to get there. And the violence outbursts they profess once they arrive and find out that the dream paradise that they imagined does not exist, also terrorises our citizens every day.
    Another risk is, that every utterance can reach millions of people worldwide for whom it was not meant, and who do not understand out culture, values and way of communicating. We all remember the riots around the innocent cartoons from Jyllandsposten in 2005 and the philosophical speech by Pope Benedictus XVI in Regensburg in 2011.
    And I don’t even dare to think of how we can be controlled, not only by our governments, but also (and that’s even worse) by international Big Tech corporations (Microsoft, Google Facebook, Tiktok etc.) organisations (UNO , NATO, EU etc.), NGO’s and UNO organisations like the WHO. None of these any one ever voted for, still they control our lives more and more, and they could only get this power over us through this technology and through the process of globalization, which is a direct result.
    How long are we still going to tolerate that everything that was dear to us is being robbed from us by a small criminal elite?

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