Tag Archives: the future

Customer Service . . .

I have ordered a new computer. This will give me time to consider my options with the old one. It should, according to what I read online, be possible to restart my old computer and retrieve the information in my files by use of a simple free download. Having read the instructions several times I can now refine that sentence and add a little accuracy.

It should, according to what I read online, be possible to restart my old computer and retrieve the information in my files by use of a simple free download, but it won’t be. It never is. It might not quite be free and it definitely won’t be simple. If it were simple, dare I suggest that it wouldn’t need a video tutorial and there wouldn’t be quite as much discussion about it on the support forum. However, having tried everything on the computer and come back to blue screen each time, I definitely have to try something that needs a download.

As a bonus, I have had a lesson on why it is important to back things up and why I need to learn more about using computers.

The loop where I do things and, twenty minutes later, end up with the same blue screen I started with, is mimicked perfectly by the so-called “customer service” phoneline at Curry’s. I have no doubt that if you have a computer it works well. However, if your computer refuses to start, and you buy a new one, it is a nightmare. You ring the number, it asks you to select numbers. You select numbers and after three steps it tells you to contact your carrier and disconnects automatically. This is repeated, with variations, when you try different combinations. I ended up ringing the repair line, where I was told that the service might be slow due to Covid. After 15 minutes of being told they would be with me soon, I hung up. I suppose that every cost-cutting measure for the next 20 years will be due to Covid. Quite honestly I’m beginning to think that the main casualty of Covid wasn’t the hundreds of thousands of deaths or the thousands of fearful recluses – the main casualty has been truth and customer service.

Fortunately, when I eventually coaxed the stone age laptop into action I was able to get some answers. Does it not occur to them that someone buying a new computer may not have access to working  technology, or want their phone linking to the internet?

In time, we will recover out courage when we hear a neighbour cough, we will haul ourselves out of the stone age which Putin’s war looks set to return us too, and we will become used to living in plastic bubbles as the Earth fries, but we will never again be able to see a doctor face to face, pay for a pizza by cash or talk to a human being on a helpline.

For some reason, I felt drawn to finish with a quote from Brave New World – “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

That is our future – tethered to the internet by a mobile phone, dating by Tinder,  politics by fake news . . .

Aldous Huxley died on the same day as C S Lewis and J F Kennedy. Nobody noticed. Just like nobody notices our slide into a society of willing servitude.

Day 183

Last night, whilst browsing the internet, I found an interesting documentary on Wilko Johnson. His music may not appeal to you, but I think his story and personality may do, despite any musical differences. It’s called Oil City Confidential but I can’t find the link at the moment. It features music, poetry and the story of a man who was told he had just ten months to live because of inoperable cancer. As it turned out, he had a rare operable cancer and survived. I offer this as proof that there is interesting stuff on the internet if you can get through all the kitten videos.

Work was a little busier than average, with people coming to buy a variety of things. It always feels more like a shop when people come to buy stuff. When it’s just eBay we might as well be in a warehouse. Though if we were in a warehouse I wouldn’t have things falling on my head when we open the cupboard doors.

As a note for that mythical PhD student who will, one day, use my blog as a guide to life in 2022 – these are the edited highlights. The reality involves much more snoozing in front of TV and staring into space than the posts suggest. Of course, by then the life of a student will probably be so sanitised that drinking caffeine and driving a car will be seen as dreadful acts of self-destruction. Or, as they type in an underground bunker, my use of fossil fuels will be seen as part of the global warming process that produced the desert on “The Surface”, as they will call it . . .

Day 151

I’m on holiday now. Wednesday is my usual day off. Thursday and Friday are public holidays for the Platinum Jubilee, on Saturday the Post Office is closed so there is little point us working (according to the owner). It will be Monday before I work again. It’s a nice bonus, but a little annoying as it disrupts things like prescription orders. The Queen will, presumably, be working on those two days, so I don’t see why the rest of us can’t. I say “working” – a little correspondence, a personal appearance or two, checking up on Prince Andrew (currently chained in the Palace Dungeons where he cannot do more harm to the Royal Brand or see any woman under 50) and dinner cooked by a fleet of flunkeys is slightly different to the “work” that the erst of the country has to do.

I admit that’s a slightly jaundiced view of the Royal Life, but when you find out that Prince Charles has people to run his bath, and has precise requirements regarding water temperature, it hard not to espouse Trotskyite Principles.

I’ve been thinking about the events of yesterday, and have decided that it’s time to start filling my time with more  meaningful stuff, as there is a limited time between now and whatever lies ahead in terms of diminishing brain power. The first step is deciding what “meaningful stuff” actually is.

I suppose this is where I start becoming misty-eyed about family and grandchildren. Or decide I want to leave a lasting legacy.

Actually, I’m thinking about robbing a bank. The extra cash will come in handy as prices keep going up and if they catch me what can they do to me that is any worse than living in a care home? Poor food, authoritarian staff, room mates with low standards of personal hygiene – or jail?

The picture, with connotations of jail and snouts in the trough, seemed apt.