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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Baloney or Malarkey, what’s your pleasure?

English is the lingua franca of the modern world, but I’m not sure how well that’s working.

Still life by Carol L. Douglas
If you manage your time right, it's possible to be a professional artist without ever lifting a brush. It’s very easy for the administrative work of a small shop to swamp the creative time.

In some ways, the time we spend on hold is the price we pay for the convenience of living in the computer age. Our ancestors would probably happily trade sitting by the phone for a take-out dinner.

At work it’s a different story. Of all the rabbit holes the self-employed person can go down, a ‘customer-service’ call is the worst. Especially since so many modern corporations no longer talk to you in person, but require that you ‘chat’ online. At least with a phone hold you can reline the kitchen cabinets or straighten your pencil drawer while you’re waiting.

Still life by Carol L. Douglas
Yesterday I did a chat help that lasted two hours, 32 minutes and 47 seconds. You might think that’s not so bad (if you’re insane), but it was the third one in eight days. The first one lasted two hours, nine minutes and 25 seconds. The second one I forgot to record.

I used to believe these were happening with a living person whose English wasn’t good, but now I’m not so sure. Certain phrases repeat through the conversation, like “I am checking it for you Carol,” or “Please may I get to know…” or “I would like to suggest you that please…”

Eventually I told the other party that I’d been holding so long I needed a bathroom. “What I can see is that you can again come up with the same case number after you had a bath,” it replied.

Still life by Carol L. Douglas
We duly got through the reinstall and it didn’t work, as it hadn’t worked on the previous three tries. 

“I would like to suggest you that please follow the steps again I have share with you,” wrote the bot.

“You mean you want me to uninstall and reinstall the software again?” I asked. It takes about an hour.

“In above chat I have share with you,” came the cryptic reply.

My case has been bounced to another “team” of specialists. They promise to respond within 48 or 72 or 96 hours. Meanwhile, my ads for my workshops aren’t done.

Hah! The joke's on you! Painting by Carol L. Douglas
I was very philosophical until my bot signed off with, “I understand how inconvenient this is,” an automated comment if there ever was one. No, I don’t think you do, bot. Human beings have a finite life span. Time matters to us.

This morning I got up to a comment on my post about the scientists of color. It was in Hindi, and I expected it would be an ad for sunglasses (which is why comments on this blog are now moderated). Google translated it for me. It read in part, “Crops used to use the crop in Madhya Pradesh in the central area of ​​the overthrow of the crop fields or other birds, they eat your armor. Hummingbird think that was a real man tight figures in old clothes, and go in fear, well, firstly remove Bkshyon the Scarpon, but they will stay away from any kind, understand, even when happy Landry, a few days…”

I can’t believe my bot is now sending me personal messages.

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